[Note: always subject to updating]
This stren consists of terms used throughout the Educational Community content – including the 100+ collection of strens, two books, letters, the Mini-course, the Peace Quiz, and everything available on our forever free web site. The Glossary explains words and concepts to make your learning easier, faster, and more satisfying. Some of the terms will be new to you; others are familiar words used in new and unexpected ways. Stren #101 provides a more comprehensive overview of the important ANWOT concepts, and will enable you to create a unified picture of our mission as human becomings.
A newer way of thinking (ANWOT): Einstein’s proposed solution to prevent human catastrophe and promote world peace – the process of learning to apply common sense wisdom to solve today’s problems using current knowledge.
Animal brain: the six segments of the brain that automatically regulate our behavior, i.e. our thinking, feelings, and actions. These segments include what we call the medulla, pituitary, pons, pineal body, cerebellum, and thalamus. The seventh segment, the cerebral cortex, that distinguishes us as from animals is discussed below. Because the segments are so interconnected, there are alternative classifications of the segments that comprise our older brain.
ANWOT building blocks to attain self-mastery:
- the ingredients: faith (Yes, I can...), work, patience, direction, risk taking
- the language of ANWOT: the seven mind-freeing, life-changing, world-saving word-switches
- the mental freedom control panel (MFCP): the eight choices available to our will to take or modify our actions
- strens: the collection of wisdoms that adds strength to manage life’s challenges
- our value system: the assumptions and beliefs that influence our thinking, feelings, and actions
Assumptive world/Religion: beliefs based on faith that influence our thinking, feelings, and actions.
Asymptotic growth of power: An asymptote is a curve that draws increasingly nearer to a line without ever touching it. The chart below shows the acceleration of the power of knowledge in shorter and shorter periods of time. Notice that the sudden, dramatic upturn in power is occurring NOW, within our time.
Board of Directors: the “Capitol” where representatives of nature, nurture, and our self accept or reject the ideas to be transformed into action. The composition of the Board changes throughout our lifetime, especially at puberty.
Both ... and logical thinking: the way of processing information that considers the best solution for all parties in a conflict. Focusing on similarities, both ... and thinking promotes tolerance, cooperation, constructive problem-solving, and win/win cooperation.
Common sense wisdom: applying universal common sense logic to current knowledge to solve today’s problems. Common sense wisdom is our means to consistently direct our power to constructive outcomes and prevent the expression of those trial-and-error wisdoms that have lost their effectiveness or have become dangerous when faced with today’s problems.
The test of common sense wisdom: people with different geographic, religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds come to similar insights based on logical thinking. Common sense is by definition “common.” It is universal.
Cognitive rehearsal/“no-trial” learning: mentally working through issues, considering short and long term outcomes before taking action – the means to prevention.
Consciousness: the private mental “virtual” reality created within our cerebral cortex, or freedom organ.
Creation: the orderly process of change from one state to another, usually more sophisticated state. Every effect has a cause. Logic suggests there was a first cause or “uncaused cause” that set creation in motion whose mystery is beyond our present intelligence to understand.
Creator: one who causes something to exist (dictionary definition). One who applies intelligence to knowledge to bring something into existence that has not previously been present in nature. Only humankind is endowed to introduce a mental creation into the physical or conceptual reality: a sufficiently intelligent organ, the cerebral cortex, that can create original concepts; and the mysterious force we call will power to bring them from imagination into physical existence.
Dictator: any source of prescribed demands. Instinct and tradition are our first dictators. Later in life we become servant to fate, circumstance, and human dictators. Acquiring knowledge and wisdom is our means to free our self from dictators.
Doomsday Clock: a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe; it was created and is monitored by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist’s Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates.
Either/or dichotomous thinking: our older animal brain’s way of processing information into two opposing categories: right/wrong, good/bad or evil, us/them, safe/dangerous, win/lose, etc. Focusing on differences, dichotomous thinking is a major cause of bigotry, prejudice, intolerance, destructive aggression, and win/lose confrontation.
Endogenous: dictators whose source of “wiring” is our biology, such as instinct. The innate automatic regulation of our thinking, feelings, and actions. (see also “mentogenous”)
Exogenous: dictators whose source is external, such as our nurturers, culture, tradition, fate, and circumstance. Exogenous “wiring” includes the traditional beliefs and action patterns we acquire from our nurturers. (see also “mentogenous”)
Fate and circumstance: the first dictators who direct our life experience, nature and nurture (also known as instinct and tradition).
Freedom: Self-mastery is the power to create alternatives and choose among them. Physical freedom is self-direction of one’s muscles; mental freedom is the process of becoming master of our self. The work of our mature cerebral cortex, our freedom organ, is to free our will power from the control of dictators.
Freedom organ: our cerebral cortex, the latest part of our brain to develop. It is the source of our intelligence to discover knowledge and apply imagination and will power to create new alternatives. Our freedom organ provides us the opportunity to change ourselves and the world, making us unique among life on earth. We join fate and circumstance to determine who we are and what we will become.
Freed will: the mysterious power we acquire through our mature freedom organ to assume responsibility for our own thinking, feelings, and actions. The process of becoming self-programmers of the way we think.
Global citizenship (see Local citizenship): recognition of oneself as a member of an interrelated community of like mind; the commitment to contribute to the well-being of the community of humanity in addition to local loyalties. Tolerance for diversity is a learned skill that modifies our early need for local affiliation to a “superior” tribe.
God: a being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe (dictionary definition); the first or uncaused cause of all that exists. I refrain from using God because through tradition it has become a powerful trigger word with such diverse meanings that it is often a source of conflict. I personally believe those contradictions are mostly of our own doing, often inspired by animal brain instinctive “either/or” thinking. The less biased word-switch, our creator, turns on our shared commonalities and limits the non-productive conflict. Therefore, I prefer the word-switch our creator to God as a temporary wise step to diminish the foolish destructive conflict we perpetuate through tradition.
Human being(s): the prevalent misleading trigger word that implies that we are static, dependent individuals.
Humane becoming(s): an invented trigger word that enlightens us that we are not static, but a dynamic work in progress. We have a purpose and mission to elevate ourselves to become the civilized, humane species we can now envision.
Interpretive power: We make ourselves creators through our power of interpretation! Our freedom organ uses symbols to create a private “virtual” mental reality of ideas and concepts, using symbols, and assigns meaning, ideas, and concepts to the data our senses provide. Using imagination, it rearranges the concepts to create new mental alternatives not previously present in the common reality we share. It then chooses from among the alternatives and applies the mysterious power we call will to introduce our private conceptual reality into the physical reality we share in common.
Our interpretations influence our thinking, feelings, and actions. Our work in progress (WIP) is to modify our interpretations as we expand our knowledge, and to increase our freedom from instinct and tradition to become more powerful creators.
Knowledge: the enlightenment of an intelligent mind to the universal orderly rules of cause-and-effect. Knowledge is the basis of science and philosophy, and we become increasingly powerful creators as we expand our knowledge. Our generation is accelerating the growth of knowledge in every direction like the burst of light from exploding fireworks.
Instinct: the trial-and-error wisdoms that are preprogrammed into our biology to automatically direct our destiny. Instinct is pre-wired to be active upon our birth.
Intelligence: the ability to acquire and apply logic to knowledge to become a powerful creator. Only humankind has sufficient ability to use words, make interpretations, and pass them forward to continuously expand our knowledge and wisdom.
Local citizenship (see Global citizenship): loyalty to a circumscribed tribe such as family, team, religion, country, ideology, etc. The innate need to identify with like-minded supporters and often relegate non-members to inferior status.
Love/Forgiveness: the creation of energy, using our highest mental function, that is directed to the well-being of some other and/or one’s self. Forgiveness is the highest form of love.
Mental Cancer: the self-serving belief that “I, us, our tribe’s way deserves superiority” AND “not I, not us, or not my tribe are deserving of punishment, even murder if they don’t conform.” Our tribe deserves to rule the human race! Its source is usually to be found in the survival of the fittest perspective of our older animal brain.
Mental Cancer antidote: The common sense belief that “I, we, our tribe is an important part of a larger system. We best serve ourselves by contributing to the well-being of our global community.” This newer way of thinking antidote is the creation of our mature freedom organ once we equip it with knowledge and wisdom.
Mental/Spiritual Freedom: without restraint; liberty from slavery, oppression, incarceration; choice; free will; immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. Mental freedom is the goal of ANWOT; “pursuing our own good in our own way” J.S. Mill. Becoming a powerful creator does not of itself provide freedom; our creative power may remain under the direction of instinct and tradition until we teach ourselves a newer way of thinking.
Mental Wealth millionaire: a super-mature individual who has acquired sufficient wisdoms to consistently make their life joyous and meaningful. The same mental skills that make us Mental Wealth millionaires are those that create the newer way of thinking Einstein told us we require to survive and thrive.
Mentogenous (an invented word because our language has no word to complement Endogenous and Exogenous): the self-programmed “wiring” designed by the self-conscious portion of our mind; the creativity initiated by our freed will power and originated in our freedom organ.
Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny (ORP):
Ontogeny: the growth and development of an individual in form and function from a single cell to its mature level of complexity.
Phylogeny: the creative process beginning with the evolutionary history of a species, beginning as all life begins, as a single undifferentiated cell.
Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (ORP): An organism progresses to its highest level of function by entering and then graduating from each of the less sophisticated preceding levels of development. ORP provides us a valuable map of where we came from, the direction we are headed, and what alternative paths we might choose to reach our preferred destination faster, easier, and with greater accuracy.
Operating system: the means our mind uses to process information to action outcomes.
Our Creator [also referred to by trigger words such as “God,” “nature,” “the ‘first’ or ‘uncaused’ cause”]: the yet-unknowable force that has set creation in motion. Throughout history we have modified our view of our creator: we have progressed from superstition, worship of multiple idols, and harmful rituals, to the current common belief that our creator is a force that deals with all equally and is itself a work-in-progress.
My personal belief is that our creator has provided humankind with a freedom organ that provides us the opportunity and responsibility to become a part of the creative process. We can elevate ourselves; we can cause our extinction; we can bring about anything in between. Whether you share my belief or maintain a different one, I urge each person to focus on our shared interests so that all humanity will benefit.
Power: a force to initiate change; the energy source to create and to destroy.
Problem-solving sentence: “What is most likely to make things better for us and them, for now and the future?” Contrast this with problem-solving sentence of our animal brain, “My way, the only way.”
Reflective thinking: the skill to think about our thoughts; consciousness of our consciousness. The source of what we call “free will.” The power to see our self in a mirror enables us to make a quantum leap in our creative power. Reflective thinking = self-consciousness + imagination.
Second signaling system: the power of mental interpretation using symbols to modify our primary physical signaling system.
Self: the trigger word that identifies us as unique in the world, often used in combination with another word to recognize our special powers, such as self-mastery, self-consciousness.
Self-consciousness: reflective thinking to interpret our thoughts and what we think; thinking about our thinking; becoming conscious of our consciousness; the source of mental freedom.
Self-mastery: our work-in-progress to elevate ourselves to become humane individuals. Most people attain significant self-mastery in their late twenties or early thirties. Some require more time while others remain dependent throughout their lifetime.
- First signaling system: the mindless biologic nerves and chemicals that directly turn on action as designated by nature, nurture, or initiated by our freedom organ (cerebral cortex); the final common pathway.
- Second signaling system: the power of interpretation using symbols to modify our first signaling system; the mature use of imagination to become godlike creators
- Self-mastery signaling system (a variation of the second signaling system): the use of imagination to express common sense wisdom to attain super-maturity and contribute as a citizen to the well-being of our global community.
Stages of development: Immature ⇒Mature ⇒ Super-mature
- Immature: incomplete physical and mental development; directed by instinct and nurture
- Mature: the process of becoming a creator with power for constructive and destructive action; increasing self-consciousness; transition from dependency to self-mastery
- Super-mature: the process of adding a newer way of common sense thinking to consistently direct the power of knowledge and wisdom to constructive outcomes.
Stren (an invented word): any word, concept, idea, wisdom, and experience that strengthens our well-being.
Stupidity: mindlessly trying to solve today’s problems using yesterday’s solutions.
Three masters who direct our thinking, feelings, and actions:
- Nature: our first master, usually characterized as “instinct”
- Nurture: our second master, also characterized as “habit,” and when passed on to future generations is referred to as “tradition.”
- Self-mastery (also referred to as mental freedom, thought control, becoming our own person, and super-maturity): The last-to-develop director of our life experience as we equip our freedom organ with sophisticated language and a newer way of thinking; the use of interpretation to free our self from dictators and assume responsibility for our life’s experience.
Tradition: the predetermined patterns of behavior created by our ancestors from trial-and-error wisdom and the common sense use of then-current knowledge. Traditions are passed forward from generation to generation regardless of their appropriateness to current circumstances. Tradition becomes our dominant master until we acquire sufficient common sense wisdom to upgrade what instinct and tradition make of us.
Trial-and-error wisdom: Our creator produces infinite variations of life to adapt to the changing environment. Those adaptive to fate and circumstance survive while the others become extinct. About 95% or more of the species ever to have lived have become extinct. Those adaptive trial-and-error methods that have survived 3 ½ billion years of life on earth are passed on to future generations through genetic inheritance and tradition. Trial-and-error wisdom is the preferred method of problem-solving of our older brain. These mindless wisdoms provide reliable solutions to yesterday’s issues and those that remain unchanged, but they are poorly equipped to problem-solve new issues.
Tribe: any collection of individuals focused around a common interest, goal, or way of thinking. A tribe can be a family, religious community, political party, or nation, to name just a few examples. One common characteristic of tribes is an insular “us vs. them” way of thinking.
Trigger word (see also Word-switch): a word, phrase, symbol, or gesture that turns on energy (usually an interpretation charged with meaning) to activate a specific pathway and its action outcome. Our means to promote a newer way of thinking and mental freedom is adding new trigger words and word-switches to our existing language as we acquire more wisdom.
Weapons of Ultimate Destruction (WUD): any weapons, including nuclear and biological weapons, capable of causing widespread devastation to human society and the natural world with a single use.
Will power: the mental energy we create to turn on action. Three masters compete to control our will power – nature (instinct), nurture (tradition), and our self.
Wiring patterns/“hardwired”: pre-programmed actions patterns, usually those present through instinct and inscribed by our nurturers.
Wisdom: the direction of knowledge to constructive outcomes; the common sense use of good judgment to adapt, survive, and thrive when faced with new challenges to our well-being. Our mature freedom organ applies the intelligent use of logic to knowledge to create new solutions to current and anticipated challenges. We preserve and enrich our well-being as we increase our wisdoms, i.e. become Mental Wealth millionaires.
Word-switch (see also Trigger word): a symbol, usually a word or phrase, that substitutes a newer action pathway and destination for an established one by replacing the established trigger-word. Imagine that you are the controller of the railroad track switches. An oncoming train will follow its current course to the predetermined destination. However, by making one simple change at a single point, you can change both the path and the outcome.
Work-in-progress (WIP): The progressive change from simple and primitive to complex and sophisticated that is characteristic of all creation; the intentional action by a creator to modify the present level of complexity and sophistication. Our human WIP appears to include freeing our selves from the dictatorship of fate and circumstance so we can acquire the self-mastery to join them in determining who we are and what we are to become.
• Our individual work-in-progress is to teach our self the wisdoms that create mental freedom.
• Our collective work-in-progress is to acquire the humane, civilized skills we preach, such as forgiveness, love, kindness, mercy, and compassion. Our freedom organ, properly educated, empowers humankind to change the world into a civilized utopia.