WHY A NEWER WAY OF THINKING?
You are needed
Welcome to stren #63, The Puzzle of the Seven Continents. We will solve it by applying a newer way of thinking (ANWOT). This process of attaining mental freedom has also been called becoming our own person and self-mastery. As we have discussed in previous strens, this change is crucial because destructive aggression is inherent in the manner we think. We have become our worst enemy because we have recently become so powerful that we create weapons with ultimate destructive power for which there is no cure; and we are recklessly changing the world so that it will no longer be able to provide our needs.
Our prevalent manner of thinking is the root cause of our contemporary problems and is no longer adequate to protect us from our self. As one author put it, “We are doing better and feeling worse.” Though we have become our worst enemy, we also have the potential to become our own best friend. The ANWOT skills are so simple to learn that it seems unbelievable that they can so powerfully advance us along the road to humanity and civilization. The ANWOT mental skills will make a huge difference because there is such a deficiency in these mental vitamins. Our established educational system has yet to make ANWOT education standard in its curricula.
Knowledge is our resource for either shared prosperity or global disaster, or some combination of both. Our recent explosion of scientific knowledge has thrust us into a New Era where human selection is replacing natural selection. After WWII, sufficient nuclear bombs were stockpiled to destroy the world as we know it 10 times over. We must popularize ANWOT if we are to thrive and survive the threats of modernity. Einstein not only ushered in this new era with his work on the atomic bomb; he also told us what we must do to prevent self-annihilation. The tick-tick-ticking of the doomsday clock is approaching midnight; it is only a matter of time before we create our own “big bang.” Each of us is a member of a larger system that is on a course to destruct. Someone(s) will unleash destructive power never before experienced and unimaginable by most persons.
To illustrate the need for a newer way of thinking, join me on a brief visit to an imaginary planet, one that has some similarities to our own. Imagine a planet with seven distinct continents, each containing among its creatures a family of humanoids (the H’s). On each continent, there is struggle for dominance. Through their smarts, the H’s come to dominate all others creatures. The H’s on each continent develop their own culture, customs, beliefs, and rules that actually increase their dominance. Though the cultures on each continent differ, they each live harmoniously within their confines, unaware that there are other continents with a distinct system of life and assumptive views. Each population is obedient to, even fiercely protective of, their own set of beliefs and rules.
As the families on each continent grow more knowledge, they improve their means of communication and travel. They discover that the world extends beyond their continent; they are no longer isolated from one another. Indeed, their growing capacity for travel and communication “shrinks” their world. H’s now confront other H’s who appear unfamiliar, speak a different tongue, and fail to obey the rules of their established cultures. What would you predict about the confrontation between the H’s of these different continents? Thus far, each family has confronted other creatures that they have dominated through superior power. It has been quite acceptable to consider all non-H’s objects, suitable to service their bidding – to provide food, labor, and amusement. To make a servant and/or kill any non-H has been the law of the land. It seems quite predictable that each family of H’s would first use their intelligence as they have in the past, to grow more physical power and so dominate the “other.” Each family directs its energy and intelligence to produce greater power, viz. weapons of mass destruction. Their efforts result in great success. Each family of H’s produces the destructive mega-power to decisively defeat whoever would challenge their authority.
Yet there is a problem, which Einstein foresaw. He recognized that our nature and nurture directed us to use our intelligence for destructive as well as constructive purposes to attain our needs and wants. Our mastery of science enables us to make such powerful weapons that we no longer preserve our lives at the expense of others but instead take our own lives along with the lives of others. Nature’s perspective, (physical) might makes right is no longer adequate; it is but partially true.
Do you understand his concern? As long as the H’s on our hypothetical planet continue to think as they have been accustomed, it is merely a matter of time before Armageddon, mass mutual destruction! Perhaps more crucial than the E=mc2 equation that led to the bomb, Einstein provided a solution to the danger he prophesied: We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive, one that will direct our intelligence to act with reason and wisdom more than instinct and habit. We need to update our operating system so that it can consistently direct our mega-powers to constructive outcomes. To what avail is Utopia if we self-destruct along the way?
As our recent science of travel and communication shrinks our world into an interrelated global economy, the “us” also grows bigger. “Me” is increasingly becoming a part of a larger “us.” As the group which is “us” grows larger in size, the number of “us’s” diminishes; the trend is towards a divided world where there is only one “us” and one or a few of “them,” with each one intent on domination and forcing the “other” to accept their political and/or religious assumptions. Given our history of destructive aggression and the explosive growth of our power to make a difference, it is clear we are headed for holocaust of unimaginable proportion … unless we provide new direction!
In our own not too distant past, every person was armed with two fists. Gradually we developed and distributed weapons until first a few of us had guns, then many had them, and in some areas, most. Nobel’s discovery of dynamite produced bombs (and the Nobel Peace Prize!), which have become quite commonplace. The suicide bomber is a current “innovation.” Now the number of groups possessing multiple weapons of mass destruction is increasing, as are the individuals who could trigger them with the push of a button or simple word. Given our present manner of thinking, in which of these situations would you and your loved ones be most secure? Do you believe, like the H’s on their seven separate continents, that increasing our physical power increases our security? I personally believe that while escalation of physical power may temporarily serve as a source of deterrence, it is not a long-term solution to preserving our well-being.
We have created this critical time of both danger and opportunity through rational thinking. Scientific discovery is the product of the cooperation of our collective mental energy throughout our history. If two heads can be more productive than one, imagine what could be learned through the collected wisdom of multiple insights from each segment of humanity. Is there any culture, religious group, race, or geographic region that cannot contribute some piece to the diversity of wisdom we require? What is remarkable today is the abundant wisdom in our texts, the collection of ideas in our libraries, and the ability to share information via our growing efficiency in communication. The task that faces us is to persuade each culture, religious group, race, and geographic region that virtue implores love more than hate, peace more than war, sharing more than hoarding, cooperation more than dominating, freedom more than slavery. We make such truths apparent through the reasoned outcome of wisdom. More than tolerance for others, peace requires that we understand our need for the wisdom “others” have to contribute. We initially grow the momentum for global peace by convincing and persuading ourselves of these values, by pointing an educating finger inward to strengthen our personal responsibility. Some would prefer slavery to death, but who would choose slavery over freedom? Freedom cannot persist without the companion of wisdom.
This is the most important reason to add global priorities to your local ones. You are needed to become one of each one, teach many who will help develop and popularize the ANWOT mental skills that upgrade our thinking to deal with our most universal unresolved problem … destructive aggression. We don’t want to proceed to the confrontation anticipated on our hypothetical planet. ANWOT frees our will power from the prejudices of our genes and nurturers. A freed will + wisdom empower us, through our freedom organ, to act with knowledge and wisdom more than instinct and habit. We need to become the genie who can answer our own prayers, who can make our wishes a reality. Along the way we first acquire the prerequisite skill to global peace: peace of mind. If you are not yet persuaded to become one of the each one, teach many to participate in ANWOT, please take our educational Peace Quiz.
When we heal ourselves, we bring peace to the world.