Four Steps

Welcome to stren #67, Proceeding to Succeed.  This stren explains the four steps most certain to prevent imminent human catastrophe and create sustained peace.  The process requires a sufficient number of leaders who understand the process here described and will initiate the domino effect required to mobilize the larger population into constructive action.  Given the nearly seven billion people who wish or pray for world peace, I believe a million peace leaders united in effective action will be unstoppable.  I have no doubt that goal is attainable given the reach of our current mass media and Internet.  

The problem has been described in detail throughout these strens, and in the other resources available for free at our website, www.anwot.org.  To sum up briefly: surviving through harmful aggression, which has worked for billions of years, has suddenly become maladaptive as our generation creates and makes weapons with ultimate destructive power (WUD) widely available.  Our most knowledgeable scientists and informed citizens predict one or more tribes are likely to use them in our generation and most certainly during our children’s lifetime.  War followed by rebuilding, the traditional means to establish dominance, is no longer possible as our WUD offer no second chance.  Prevention through cooperation and collaboration is required instead. We have a mission to elevate ourselves to become the humane species we preach but have yet to reach.  Understanding how we can proceed to succeed will overcome the prevalent hopeless/helpless attitude that shuts down our energy to take action.  Subsequent strens will explain our unique third stage of development, the meaning and the process of attaining self-mastery.

     Our species has been gifted with a specialized freedom organ, our cerebral cortex, with sufficient intelligence to free our will from instinct and the traditions of our nurturers.  We invent symbols to create language and self-consciousness.  This is our means to master our own destiny and that of all about us.  When mature and properly educated, we not only think about our surroundings, we think about what we think.  We are conscious of our consciousness.  We create a private world, make assumptions using the data available to us, and create phenomena and action pathways unprecedented in nature.  Through the power of interpretation, we make assumptions that become our collection of beliefs.  Our assumptive worldview establishes a value system that distinguishes us from all life on earth.  The values we assume create a mental- spiritual private world that influences our life experience more than the events of the physical world we share in common.  Only we discover cause-and-effect, store, share, and pass this power of knowledge forward to increasingly make us godlike creators and destroyers.  Within the last one hundred years, a blink in historical time, our scientific method has created a quantum leap in self-mastery.  Our recent dramatic acceleration of knowledge has thrust our generation and certainly our children’s generation into a race between survival and annihilation.  

Our animal brain supports the destructive action pathways that were effective in solving yesterday’s problems by applying yesterday’s knowledge.  Some actions have become maladaptive given the new solutions required to solve the problems of today’s technology.  Domination through harmful symbolic aggression may be expressed as jealousy, resentment, hate, bigotry, prejudice, bullying, greed and speed, and insatiable pursuit of the symbols of power such as physical wealth and titles.  These behaviors are not the deviant expressions of “evil” people.  They are the action patterns we would expect to be dictated by our animal brain. They persist unless restrained by education in the skills of civility.  To the degree we allow our animal brain to dominate our thinking and assumptive worldview, we will remain uncivilized and become the first species to hasten our own extinction as we apply our creativity stupidly. The symbolic expression of instinct’s fight or flight, survival of the fittest perspective to dominate through harmful confrontation is no longer adaptive in a world where most tribes possess weapons with ultimate destructive power.