A bigger leap forward

Oct
14
2011
by
Lynne McTaggart
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0
Comments

Every day, it seems, I’m being asked to be part of something evolutionary.  Evolutionary groups and committees. Evolutionary teleseminars and meetings.  Evolutionary leaps. New paradigm this, new paradigm that. Co-creation. Emergent. 2012. End of the world. Beginning of the world.  

I’m more than happy to join in the fray largely because I live in hope that we’ll eventually fumble our way through to something new.  But what has saddened me about most things evolutionary is that, in the main, much of what passes for efforts to create supposedly new prescriptions for living are being unconsciously assembled with a very old set of tools. 

Every day, it seems, I’m being asked to be part of something evolutionary.  Evolutionary groups and committees. Evolutionary teleseminars and meetings.  Evolutionary leaps. New paradigm this, new paradigm that. Co-creation. Emergent. 2012. End of the world. Beginning of the world.

I’m more than happy to join in the fray largely because I live in hope that we’ll eventually fumble our way through to something new.  But what has saddened me about most things evolutionary is that, in the main, much of what passes for efforts to create supposedly new prescriptions for living are being unconsciously assembled with a very old set of tools.

Old models

Some of the evolutionary models I encounter, or even the organizations themselves, are still based upon some variation of our tired old model of individualism, or ‘us vs them,’ or even contend that evolution is simply a matter of tweaking of what we already have – as though cleaning up everything wrong with our financial model is simply a matter putting in a few regulations to separate speculative and main street banking. 

To date, I have to say, we’re not getting very far, and the reason not much of this is getting off the ground has to do with the fact that virtually all of us -  the very people designing the new structures - have been hardwired with the old ways of thinking.  It is virtually impossible for us to conceive of ourselves outside the structures we’ve already created when making use of the same mindset that created the very structures we’re trying to transcend.  

And almost any failure, to my mind, has to do with the fact that we’re still operating according to the old Adam Smith model that we do best for society when looking out for number 1, whether or not we dress it up with a highminded title. 

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

In fact, the most insidious aspect of this is the fact that so often the old thinking is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  More times than I like to remember, I’ve had organizations approach me and say, in effect, ‘We’d like to collaborate and work together.  We’ll take over your list, okay?  But it’s important not to have any ego about this.’ 
A variation of this is, ‘Please work for us free for a year.  We’ll make a sizable income from this and you’ll give your time gratis.’  I win, we lose, but it would be most un-evolutionary of you to kick up a fuss.  

Or, as I’ve been told a few times, if you really believed in evolution and the Bond, you’d give it away your books for free.  

Aside from the fact that I do not have the power to determine the pricing of my books or am even the main beneficiary (like most authors, my publisher receives 85-93.5 per cent of the income from my books; I get 85 per cent of the residue of that), this kind of very sloppy thinking argues, in effect, that work beneficial to the world should not have a price tag while it’s fine for everything else to have one.  In other words, it’s okay to receive a salary when you are working for Coca Cola, but not when you’re working for the Pachamama Alliance.

When taking that line, no one is really thinking it through.  Until we remove money from the equation, until we find another way to exchange services with each other, until nothing costs money anymore, everyone has to charge. My loaf of bread with which I feed my children requires money to purchase, just as yours does.

Good for the whole

 The reason we’re not making headway with this evolutionary business is that few of these efforts are creative enough to design something that is good for individuals and good for the whole. There are so few genuine efforts that offer true win-win collaboration or indeed genuinely address the enormous critical issues facing us all in any meaningful way.  

In The Bond, I focus on ‘the Nash Equilibrium,’ designed by economist John Nash, who basically replaced the Adam Smith model with the idea that the best possible response in any situation is what’s good for you AND what’s good for the group.  That must be the absolute basis of any evolutionary movement.

Evolving – and by that I mean recovering wholeness in our lives and recapturing our sense of the connection between things - is going to require a very different set of rules from the ones we currently live by. It is not about fixing what is now broken.  It’s going to take nerve.  It’s going to take vision: the ability to envision new ideas for everything from how we are rewarded for services to each other to how we relate at every moment.It’s going to require recognizing the whole in every aspect of our daily lives. 

Fundamental questions

 In order to begin, we have to ask ourselves some fundamental questions.  The most fundamental of all, as far as I am concerned, are the following:

• How can we view the world, if not as something other than for just ourselves?

• How else should we relate to each other, if not competitively?

• How might we organize ourselves in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our communities, among our extended families, to be mutually supportive, rather than competitive?

• What is our main purpose in the world rather than ‘what’s in it for me'?

In order to evolve in any way, we need to think and act completely outside the box.  We need to perceive the world differently, relate to others differently, organize ourselves — our friendships and neighborhoods, our towns and cities — differently. If we’re not to be separate, we need to change our fundamental purpose on earth as something more than one based on struggle and domination.  

We must look at our lives from an entirely different perspective, a larger vantage point, so that we finally see the connections that tie us all together. 

We have to do nothing less, in other words, than to wipe the entire hard drive of our competitive mindset clean.  

And that’s going to take more than well-meaning committees, celebrations or prettily turned phrases.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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