Inner and outer worlds
To become fully human combines an inner and an outer world. Inner and outer aspects obey quite different rules and laws. Importantly there is also a right order or priority in which inner and outer co-operate. With the right priorities established, the inner and outer come together with integrity. Order and unity is established within a human being when the laws of inner life are given a first-thing priority.
How you treat yourself determines how you treat the rest of the world
There are distinct determining links: the way that I use and treat the inner world of my Self determines the way in which I use and treat others in the outer world. This implies a straightforward cause and effect: if I use and treat myself in a callous, cruel and vicious way, then I am likely to use others and the world around me in a cruel, malicious way. Inevitably this is what happens with wrong priority. Conversely, if I use and treat myself in a kind and considerate way then I will treat and relate others in the world around me in a compassionate way.
To treat myself in a compassionate, kind way along with the world around only happens when I establish the Right Priority.
Insight: Opening an inner eye
A natural direction and flow to life follows when the right priority is in place. It opens an inner eye. If the second thing is given first priority then that eye closes and it becomes blind: then there is a loss of clear direction. Very often with the wrong priority in place, I place a telescope to a closed eye and hope blindly, to find some way forward to human fulfillment and happiness. This can only happen when the right priority is established and the powerful telescope is placed to an open, Seeing Eye.
With the right priority there is literally in-sight and Three Life Realisations are established:
- Life Realisation 1
A deep conviction, and knowingness that all life is sacred, that we are non-separate and interconnecting form of life.
- Life Realisation 2
A spontaneous human compassion flows into the outer world that is non-manipulative and is not controlling or ego driven
- Life Realisation 3
There is a forbearance/forgiveness that comes from a deep understanding of the inevitable consequences that follow from not establishing the right priority. The wrong priority will often take the form or belief that I can change my inner life by outward material means. The inevitable consequences of such a wrong priority is that life becomes ensnared. In particular egos will tend to interlock with other individual egos in differences of opinion and world-view. At all levels, from individuals to nation states the inevitable result is some form of permanent war one with one another.
If the right priority is not established then the Three Life Realisation principles will be violated at all levels of human affairs: from individual conduct, to religious practices: political and economic life to the contemporary all pervasive www. Internet
Religion is the avenue of human affairs that is in many ways the most difficult to forgive for violations of the Three Life Realisations. Human cultures have devised a variety of different spiritual paths specifically to establish the right order of priority. They all emphasise at some point how we all come from the same Source: So in fact, these paths should only vary very insignificantly and slightly in their different cultural emphases and wording. Sadly, this in no way guarantees that these psycho-spiritual bodies of human thought are not also subject to the blindness that follows from the wrong priority. They are! And on a hugely tragic and terrifying scale of devastation and violation of human life. This will happen as a direct consequence of neglecting Life Realisation 1): that all life is sacred and that we all come from the same Source, that fundamentally we all have the same trajectory or direction. Behaving as a collective ego, most religions set about dominating and manipulating the world to establish their particular point of world-view. It is usually the case that these bodies of religion also along the way develop huge material worldly wealth and often will come to operate in life violating ways in order to defend these vested material interests, to the inevitable neglect of the three Life Principles. True to form a powerful telescope is placed to their blind eye and they will punch the air while crying:
“This way forward. God is on our side!”
Within these traditions are codified human qualities. They are usually described as the virtues of kindness, compassion, forbearance, truthfulness, and courage. These are ‘qualities of the Heart’ and are deeply embedded in these traditions. The greatness of these traditions embody deeply pragmatic perspectives:
- Without these qualities we are unable to attain our fullest potential as human beings.
- These qualities are critical to the peaceful and harmonious conduct of human affairs, between individuals and nations.
In any particular body of thought and religious practice there will usually be a specific claim affirming Life Realisation 1): that we are non-separate and emanate from the same source. But whenever the second thing has been given first thing priority, the claim changes to become: “we need to develop power and worldly wealth in order to dominate the rest of the world because: “This is the way forward. God is on our side!” This is supremely paradoxical because it was explicitly stated somewhere that there are no sides. Well certainly there are no “sides” according to Life Realisation 1)!
Economics and politics
We have achieved a truly extraordinary success in dominating and controlling the material world to serve human needs, reaching even beyond: to actually creating a proliferation of needs. We may even have come to think that the sole purpose of the web of life on this planet is to serve our human unquenchable appetite for satisfying an ever-growing demand for comfort, in a world of superabundant choice. This wholly unsustainable human greed is supported now by political systems wholly dedicated to a wrong priority: the unquestioned claim that if we only had more, bigger, better economic growth; if we only had even more choice of comforts and distraction then we would start to feel better in ourselves. It simply is not seeming to work out in that way: in the contemporary world of unsurpassed material wealth and abundance for many, there are huge increases in mental health and lifestyle related malaises of multiple kinds. So much so, that the health bills of advanced industrialised nations are projected as becoming unsustainable within the next few decades. In the advanced industrial nations there is a developing hollowness, an emptiness and a state of distraction that grows ever greater as it bears the strain of proliferating choices. As many others have commented, it appears that advanced industrial nations have someway lost a sense of the sacredness of Life. Perhaps we need to stop and consider here: whether more of the same is a viable way forward?
It seems that contemporary politics has now completely cut itself adrift from any sense of right priority, of truth and commitment to ideals. In its place there is only the peddling of a more effective management of selfish outcomes. The manipulative management of outcomes is now operating in a world that has wholly accepted and legitimised fake news. There is no truth, only a choice of whatever fakery that offers most individual comfort. Once again the pragmatic managers of effective outcomes are becoming simply habitual and unashamed liars. In the arena of contemporary politicians, they are most likely to put a powerful telescope to their blind eye, punch the air and with all the careful grooming of political “spin” and brittle self-confidence cry:
“This way forward: to never-ending economic growth and prosperity!”
In the way that we manage modern economies there exists a potential for transformation and for the growth of a genuine human compassion, mutual care, and ultimately perhaps even a sustainable stewardship of life on Earth. But realising such a potential is only possible if the Right Priority is established.
Does that right priority begin within: in the Love, Courage and Sacredness of the Human Heart?
It is important to consider next whether the priceless analog qualities of the heart can be digitalised?
The digitalised www. Internet
“What am I to do with my life?”
This is the twelfth most commonly asked question asked of Internet search engines. This heartfelt plea must echo around the Internet. It resonates with yet another heartfelt plea that is currently the number one question asked of Internet search engines. But first:
The heralding cry of the Internet:
“The truth is out there– you are only a mouse-click away!”
This statement demonstrates a fundamental failure to establish Right Priority. In an interaction with the Internet, as the individual taps the keyboard and clicks the mouse to find an answer that is anticipated to be out there, the individual asking the question moves inexorably further and further away from the person who has the answer: It lies not out-there but in-here-within their own Self and in their own Heart. As the individual penetrates deeper and deeper into the Internet he or she will move inexorably further and further from the person, that is their own Self – who has the answer.
On this digital journey, at every step of the search, the individual’s attention will be subtly manipulated, mauled and maimed by spectacular arrays of subtle and powerful devices. The effect of such exposure to prolonged distraction of this nature is now well known to weaken the control of human attention. So- not only does the individual become progressively more open to powerful manipulation and control while on that digital search, they also move progressively further and further away from the deep, focused contemplative effort of attention, the inner work that is necessary to begin to answer the question: “What am I to do with my life?” Such prolonged exposure and distraction is now known to eventually reach a stage where deep, focused concentrated effort becomes unattainable and in the end impossible.
Imagine: if those fingers tapping the keyboard and clicking the mouse in order to find an answer that is out there, were to become intertwined with the fingers of another seeking human being, how they might together form a warm intimate web of interconnection held together in the network of the non-separate, analog system that is the human heart. Life exists in the beat of the human heart. It cannot be digitised. It is an ancient and unfailing analogue network. There is no such life on the Internet.
Of all the avenues of human affairs that cynically distort and violate the Three Life Realisations, by far the worst abuser is the recently created Internet. Inevitably, if it reflects a failure to establish the Right Priority, then it will subtly create a suffering of an extraordinary and subtle kind. The Internet is an extraordinary powerful telescope, perhaps the most powerful that human ingenuity has ever devised. If it is placed to a blind eye then it becomes very likely that its adherents will yet again punch the air in triumph and this time cry:
“This way forward to liberation in cyberspace!” You now have unlimited and unrestricted free from the discomforts and challenges of the material World. Welcome to virtuality!
While this flag of liberation and its rabble rousing rallying cry is sounding, a huge trope, a sleight of hand of universal proportion is perpetrated: In this trickery the manipulative deceit created by the world of digital technology convinces the vulnerable and ancient human psyche that the analogue qualities the human heart can actually live and exist in digitised form in cyberspace. This is not and never will be possible! When it gets away with this extraordinary slight of hand it will cynically set about manipulating and controlling in an ego-driven way. It does this to achieve one purpose: in order for money to be made. It pulls off this trickster, con-man hoax in a time-honoured way: by distraction, by the manipulation of attention. We need only consider for example, a typical individual caught in the trope distractedly driven to desperation, frantically trying to increase his or her 10,000 likes on Facebook. They operate in the utterly false belief that in some way it is possible to make up by digital quantity, for the aching emptiness, a longing for the loss of the analog qualities of contact with the human heart and with the compassionate understanding of another human being. The deeper that we are drawn into desperate efforts to put up out-there, onto a public platform, a sanitised “Likeable” version of a life, the lonelier and more isolated we seem to become. This isolation and this disconnection is a growing matter of public concern regarding the effect of social media has on the human psyche and sanity.
Earlier we considered how the arena of politics and economics has moved into a cynical manipulation of the management of outcomes in the contemporary era of fake news. In the present circumstances the Internet has become the ultimate tool for such cynical manipulation and management of outcomes. Convincingly it peddles the “Snake-Oil” notion that it is possible to achieve a human life of fulfillment and satisfaction by outward material means. It is backed by the most cynical and effective psychology ever devised in the history of mankind. It has largely been developed out of the murky world of the gambling/gaming industry. More generally: it has the manipulative capacity to attract and distract human attention as it draws individuals into the allure of comfort that can fulfill almost every possible ego whim and desire.
With such a powerful telescope held up to a closed and blinded eye, the Internet, without the Right Priority, must be bound to deliver exactly the opposite to what it often purports and claims to deliver: The following is a short summary of some recently well established and well researched findings expressing concerns with regard to the Internet:
- Rather than bring people together it separates and isolates them.
- It hinders rather than helps individuals to cooperate in the workplace and marketplace.
- It distorts and damages the wisdom and peace and understanding of the human heart.
- It degrades the quality of life by manipulating and distracting attention for pecuniary means.
- The capacity for manipulation and control increases with information-overload and the distracted and shortened span of attention.
- The Internet plays upon an aspect of evolutionary psychology that evolved to make it a pleasure, an attractive thing to the human species for to us to know– to have knowledge and power over the material world. For once in the history of mankind the availability of knowledge and information has now become potentially disempowering to human beings. This disempowerment is cynically exploited.
- Algorithms are employed specifically to create an addictive and compulsive outcome. This is done cynically in attempts to make money in the marketplace of the Internet.
- Above the “watermark” of legality there are many subtle attempts to manipulate and control buying behaviour.
- Below the “watermark” there is today a virtually out of control criminality involving pornography, blackmail and extortion operating under the sinister cloak of the dark web.
- Every online “journey” leaves behind it a digital breadcrumb trail. This increasingly penetrates deeper and deeper into our private lives. It does this legally and cynically:” People who bought this item, liked this”. Even more sinister is the way that criminal elements follow the fairly easy to access breadcrumb trails left behind every one of our every online journey and exploit every opportunity for robbery and extortion. This is not merely misguided but evil in its intent.
From the dawn of mankind to 2003 humankind generated over those thousands and thousands of years: 5 Exabytes of data. Since 2003 this has been growing at a rate of 5 Exabytes of data every two days! The bewildering amount, the sheer volume alone can become a distraction from the straightforward and simple consequences of not establishing the right priority between inner and outer aspects of what it means to be human. It seems clear that its current form at least, the workings of the Internet violate each of the Three Life Realisations. As with individual psychology, education religion, politics, economics, the Internet behaves in law-conformable ways that follow as a direct consequence from not as all other avenues of human affairs considered above – but only if the Right Priorities are established.
To return to the Number One Question asked of Internet Search Engines which has to be poignantly significant:
“What is love?”
The Heralding Internet Cry again:
“The truth is out there– you are only a mouse-click away!”
Can we find in our minds and hearts, the capacity to forgive the misguided nature of such a search and the suffering that it represents? Is it possible to see beyond the limited material boundaries of my life to a totally different horizon where I am not separated from the rest of Life? To begin an answer requires that Right Priority be established. Then I begin by holding a powerful telescope to an open and seeing eye.