On Spaceship Earth we have a problem.
We've created this problem for ourselves by living in ways that are carrying us to self-destruction. If we keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results - as Albert Einstein said, that is the definition of insanity.
We are beginning to realize our danger, but everything we're doing is at best only slowing down the pace of our self-destructive activity. We attempt to reduce fossil fuel use. We attempt to reduce waste. We attempt to reduce war and its disastrous impact. None of this nor the various causes that have gained the world's attention are altering the fundamental realities that have gotten us into this situation.
For the most part, humanity is thinking inside a box. The causes that have gained the world's attention are ideas that move us around the box. In order to survive as a species, we need to think outside the box. We need to live outside the box. We cannot sustain human life for long unless we start doing things differently - really differently.
And we need to do it ourselves. The universe is not here for our benefit. It will not provide us with a miracle or force us to survive. No human organization can create miracles either - not even the ones that claim to represent one god or another. Nobody else is going to pull our butts out of the fire. It's up to each of us!
This is our attempt to get out of the box. It began as a personal mission statement. After we had it developed though, we realized that it could be something more. And so we turned our personal mission statement into a global mission statement that points to a new kind of global society that will allow us to live sustainably. That is where our stated mission for human life will take us should we choose to accept it.
A mission statement should lead to action, and this is no exception. If humanity adopts this mission statement, new forms of government and new policies will naturally follow. Of course the transition between old and new will be difficult. It will be important for humanity not to lose sight of the fact that we too are part of the universe. We will have to redeploy all available resources to support the process and accomplish our mission.
Once the mission is completed, the future will be close to ideal for humanity because we will have synchronized with the natural world and repaired the damage we have done to it. All people could choose to do what they really wanted to do without having to worry about their financial security, and enjoy the planet wherever they wanted to be. We would all enjoy a much more idyllic, peaceful, and integrated experience without having to deal with the destructive effects of our current way of life.
The Goal: Holistic Optimal Wellness
The most important thing about a mission is its goal. What are we trying to achieve? What is the objective? We've described some aspects of the way of life we want humans to live above. But we need to dig a little deeper into our vision for human life that is lived in harmony with the reality of the world we occupy. We call this state, which is the objective of our mission and our mission statement, Holistic Optimal Wellness.
What Is It?
Holistic Optimal Wellness (which we'll abbreviate to HOW) affects many aspects of human being. It is a way of looking at the world, but it is also a way of living in the world. It is the outcome of a process of deliberately self-directed education that focuses on learning and accepting reality. The path to HOW is learning: first researching possibilities, then learning to choose the possible, and finally learning how to turn possibility into reality. As we move toward HOW, we learn to expand our ability to imagine choices and to make those choices available to us in the real world. The conscious and continuous pursuit, accomplishment and development of those choices will greatly improve our life experience.
Another way to understand Holistic Optimal Wellness is to look at the meaning of each word.
Holistic: An understanding that the parts of a system are intimately interconnected and can only be explained by reference to the whole. A holistic approach is concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts.
This functions at several levels for us:
Traits of an individual can only be understood in reference to the whole person.
Individuals can only be understood in reference to the whole human species.
Humanity can only be understood in reference to the whole Earth.
Ultimately, everything we say or do is part of the whole universe and relates to the universe.
Optimal: the best, most positive, most desirable. We are not seeking simply to make small improvements - we want to make things as good as they can possibly be.
Wellness: the state of good health, especially as an actively sought goal.
Thus, holistic optimal wellness is the best possible state of good health for the whole of humanity and the system we are part of.
When we make Holistic Optimal Wellness our objective, our perspective expands.
HOW operates at three different levels that have a specific order of application.
Because HOW is holistic, we have to begin by looking at what impacts our actions have on our environment, and move inward to smaller circles. Instead of using our individual or social values to decide what's best for the planet, we consider what's best for the planet and synchronize our social and personal actions to flow with the universe.
At this first level, directing our actions toward achieving HOW will ensure synchronization with all the rest of life. The ecosystem of planet Earth will be sustained and strengthened. The physical wellness of the environment that makes it possible for life to be physically sustained is the primary need and goal.
At the second level, directing our actions toward achieving HOW focuses us on communication and interaction with others-working to listen to others and sharing our own insights. The fabric of our social relationships will be sustained and strengthened. The social wellness of the community brings peaceful and long-lasting relationships that transcend race, ethnicity, belief, or opinion.
At the third level, directing our actions toward achieving HOW focuses us on self-awareness and harmonious action. The experience of harmony with our physical and social environment leads to joy. The spiritual wellness of the individual brings positivity and richness to everyday life.
When we make HOW our objective, we can strengthen our health and wellness in every way. That's the profit we experience through focusing and acting as outlined in the mission statement. So, what's really involved in getting to that new experience? Our name for the changes we need to make to move closer to HOW is Putting Life Together.
Putting Life Together
Two Definitions of Life
We need to re-think our historically accepted understanding of life. Everything humans do is based on our understanding of life. Because we do not see what life really is, we are not capable of living in harmony with the real world.
Can we really blame every problem with human activity on the human understanding of life? In short, yes. For many generations, humans have come to accept that the life of an individual belongs to that individual. We treat life as an individual's possession. We describe the "right to life" as an individual right. Even our dictionaries describe life as a property that belongs to an individual.
The period of time when a person is alive
The experience of being alive
The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual
Almost every human shares this perspective on life. It is said perspective is everything! We accept it as reality and shape our thoughts inside this particular perspective. Across cultures and throughout history, humanity has shared a view of life as an individual property. This is the box we are in. Even though environmentalism and systems thinking have introduced the idea of wholeness with concepts such as the web of life, even those concepts describe interconnections between individuals. But even when people recognize that the lives of individual people and species are interconnected, the starting point for their thought is on the individual and they take a perspective that makes "life" a trait or property that each one of the billions of humans (or decillions of living things) possesses as an individual.
We have divided life into a vast number of little little pieces, and we believe that some things "have life" only because they "take life" from other things. As long as we view the Earth as the battleground for creatures who are "fighting for life" with each other, our perspective will always be selfish. Our forms of government and our economic systems will always be based on selfish competition too - either competition between individuals, or competition between different groups of people or nations. And our system of self-government will also be selfish. Life will always seem and be fragmented and taken apart.
And what is the alternative? To put life together - to focus on life as a unified whole.
We focus on a different definition of life:
Matter characterized by the ability to metabolize nutrients, grow, reproduce, respond, and adapt to environmental stimuli.
This definition describes life as one thing. Instead of describing the life of an individual, it describes the potential of universal life. This definition of life must be the point of view that creates our perspective on life. Life is one thing. All the matter on Earth and throughout the universe that has these characteristics is life. Earth has been responding to its part of life for approximately 3.5 billion years (3,500,000,000) according to science. That means something like: for every minute of human history, real life has existed for a year. And for every human being on earth today, there are 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 non-human living things or parts of life. To compare the number of humans to the number of living things, you would have to take a single atom from a huge lump of charcoal. When we put life together, it is obvious that life is much more than the possession of one person, or even of the human species.
Life Taken Apart
Everyone learns to ignore the participation of life (defined as a whole) in our day to day thinking. Nobody tries to teach this, but it is so much a part of human culture that we all learn it and act as though life is transferred from one person to another. For example, we've all heard someone say, so-and-so couple is having a baby, "it's a miracle." If you believe that it really is time to stop fooling yourself and take a hard look at what we're saying here!
A baby is not created through a human "miracle." Instead, two people simply had sex. Everything else was the result of a much bigger and pre-existing part of life! And the parents were here because, like their baby, they came through a very small part of life's birth process the same as most other mammals. People debate about "when life begins" after conception. In fact, there is not a debatable point, life began billions of years ago, and every living thing, human or non-human, is a part of one ongoing process of life.
As things stand, people see the whole of life as being made up of a multiple of individual lives. I have a life, you have a life, the dog has a life, and so on. This perspective, which has been part of the human worldview all through history, allows us to perceive birth as a "miracle." This perspective puts the individual in front, and so the newborn baby is perceived to be a "new life." By extrapolation, thinking about life in this backwards way leads us to put humans and humanity at the forefront of our thinking and planning, and placing everything else secondary. From this point a list much too long to put in this document is easy to imagine. You can see by looking around you at the results of that thinking perspective. A lot of what you see will beg the question: has that perspective been working for us? We say no, it hasn't! In fact, our study of the human species historical performance indicates that if we are to survive on the planet we need a new type of experience. Why do we say that? Once again it is because of what our historical thoughts and actions have been and continue to be.
From far back in history until present day, the acceptance and focus on the life-separating perspective has made it hard if not impossible for us to sense an instinctive direct connection to the universe. For most of history, when people sought out that connection to the universe, they have described relationships with a god or gods who look and act more like humans than like the universe. Most religions have encouraged a feeling of connectedness and have also encouraged people to be unselfish and to see themselves as part of a larger whole but it simply has not been enough.
As we learn more about the universe, people have a harder time feeling connected through religion, and so people today admit that they feel disconnected, helpless, and even abandoned. It is easy for people who have those emotions to act them out through behavior that is selfish, callous, and even self-destructive. When we extrapolate that self-destructive behavior from individuals to communities, the inevitable outcome is easy to see. We have instability, conflict between various groups and nations, and violence both between social groups and between individual members of each group. The devastation goes beyond even this, to the point that we, in our time, have to make a choice about whether there will be a human future at all.
We currently continue to build self-destructive products of all kinds. We use self-destructive means to build them. And what's more we intend to keep using them until someone else offers up a different choice. We extrapolate these mistaken values and treat natural life the same way we treat ourselves. Today, we are causing long-term environmental damage. Just one small aspect of said environmental damage is climate change. Climate change it is said, produces what world media have dubbed "natural disasters". That's a perfect term for them, because these disasters are a natural outcome of the perspective we use for thinking and acting as a species. Every part of life has a built-in immune system capable of defending against infection. The Earth is not different! It too has an immune system. And because humanity is infecting and poisoning the planet, its immune system will react in a way that will kill us off. The eco-systems of earth may drastically change and even alter all forms of life which she supports to do it. But be clear about this, she will do it! Better to change?
Life Put Together
The course of human events has followed the path that is pointed out by the "what life is" perspective we use. If we change our perspective on life, we will see new possibilities for human history. When we think of life as something we inherit and have the privilege of and responsibility of experiencing for a short period in time all would come together. But history will not let us or can we actually learn from our mistake.
The value structure we use is only in place because it was adopted in the past. That value structure is based on hierarchy of importance. When we take the perspective that each of us possesses life as our own property, we have to decide who wins when two people both need something in order to maintain their "right to life." Usually each person believes that they personally come first. There are unselfish people who devote their effort to helping others, but their unselfishness doesn't change the basic hierarchy: people make sacrifices so that other people in their family, their nation, their religion, or their community can continue to possess life. We are challenging one of the basic assumptions of human people. This is a major step and it requires an open mind to even consider. But what would a perspective that would help us put life together look like if we were to consider it?
We worked diligently to hone a bigger life perspective that would in fact put life together as an everyday experience. In the mission statement we focused only on putting life together in the best way possible to achieve holistic optimal wellness. We knew that when that state of being was reached it would be the best new experience in the future. Here's how we went about understanding how we could continuously be putting life together to better improve all things as we move through our experience. Ultimately, we're considering a method through which all humanity for all time experience holistic optimal wellness in synchronization with the universe. Not a small accomplishment!
A New Experience
We return to the word holistic, which directs our thoughts toward a focus on the whole. It can encourage thought and action to move beyond the self we normally think of. It will take a lot of work to enable all people to experience holistic optimal wellness, but we can begin to experience more wellness now. When we change our thinking perspective on life, we will immediately begin to interact with our environment in a new way, and we will immediately have a new experience.
From a putting life together perspective of thinking, life is not thought of as something we own. All our air, water and food come from the organic nature of planet Earth which has been supplied free for us to use by the universe. True, but not nearly complete! In fact, the universe also supplied us! Planet Earth is our only link to the experience of life, our connection to the universe. We must realize that individually we are simply a part of that big singular universal life. We are not a life unto ourselves at all, but inherently are part of the greater whole. It is this realization that we develop into our new thinking perspective of life. But just how important is it that we do this?
Farther back in history maybe it didn't matter. But with the development of the industrial age our species is having adverse interactions with the organic environment. This human interaction which is a direct result of a life separating perception is destructive to the planet and everything that depends on it, including humanity itself! Therefore, our perception and the results it produces must be called into question. In fact, if this human condition persists as it is, will the global experience humans are having be sustained? There is plenty of evidence to show that it will not. We are going through a very dangerous period of history and we must develop new ways of life in order to have a future as a species. We believe that the key to developing a new way of life is to change the way we think about life itself.
We know humanity is completely dependent upon Planet Earth for our experience now and in the future. We know that the universe supplies both earth and us! So, what's more important, us or the universe? And yet, we put ourselves first, because our whole society trains us to put ourselves first and that self-centered view has been fostered throughout human history. That's a simple statement of a complex process, eh? But as huge as the reality and the challenge is for us, we can still hope to do something positive about it because we're still here. "Doing something about it" is what we're talking about in this document.
In order to ensure a future, we advocate the use of a co-active, multiple, new experience approach in the present. These new experiences must each be designed to turn things around by "putting life together" from a "holistic optimal wellness" perspective. In fact, every means of promoting that perspective must be utilized. We as a species must voluntarily go all-out to create and produce a new story of ourselves and our world from the HOW perspective. That story must focus on learning and developing appropriate methods for pro-action that will put life together and produce holistic optimal wellness when we implement them. We built our mission statement on the foundational principle that all life is one universal entity. When we take a perspective that honors all life and implement a process that honors all life, we stop seeing ourselves as the center of the universe - but because we are part of life, we honor ourselves more rather than less. Yes, we need a new experience will in the present but we need one for there to be the future as well.
To Sum Up…
Because we, the human species, are the dominant species on this planet, we are the catalyst for all positive change. It is the obligation of every adult on Planet Earth to "put life together" into a "holistic optimal wellness" perspective and use it to change the direction of events that create new experience. As a matter of fact, for a new perspective to work a large majority of the population existing when the choice is made to adopt it, needs to participate. That is, we as a species must all work together nearly simultaneously to successfully build a new future experience. If we come together and continue the process for building the new life focus foundation for holistic optimal wellness we do have a chance of a future. If we do, this HOW approach will be passed on to future generations and end up coming full circle. The result will be a human species appropriately inter-connected on three levels... inter-environmental, inter-personal and personal... which will produce joy for people and a sustainable new future for Planet Earth; the way it should be.
The Mission Statement
We strive to promote holistic optimal wellness by putting life together, on inter-environmental, inter-personal and personal levels, to develop a new experience in the present and the future.
What We Could Do
Can we bring about meaningful change while keeping our present perspective on life? We consider the answer to be no. The challenges facing humanity are clear, and if we could meet those challenges within our current way of life, we would already be doing it!
Could we make the changes if we adopted a new perspective? We consider the answer to be yes! It is entirely evident that all known life, including humanity, depends on the resources provided by the planet. It is equally clear that planet Earth is part of the universe. We cannot continue our experience unless we synchronize with the earth and the universe. The focus, then, is to synchronize humanity and human activity with this universal connection.
We conclude that a global movement toward this new and different perspective is likely the only chance mankind has of making meaningful change in our time. We would need to implement a global governance body based and focused on the perspectives we promote here. Our personal mission statement could easily become the global mission statement for human life, and could be the focus for the global change that we need to survive and thrive. One thing is clear we can't make such significant changes by continuing to carry out business as usual.
Let's not kid ourselves though: the changes we need to make will be the hardest thing humanity has ever undertaken. It will also be the most rewarding.
A New Way to Govern Ourselves
As we said at the outset, people who adopt this mission statement will immediately begin changing their perspective and way of life in keeping with a new focus on HOW. As communities embrace the mission statement, they immediately begin changing their perspective and way of life. For a community, this means finding new forms of organization and governance.
Originally, when we took steps toward forming a community around this mission statement, we discovered the Carver policy governance model, which is an example of a governance model that focuses on a paradigm of policy rather than one of hierarchy. We found that policy governance was a great fit for our vision of a community organized around this new mission statement, and we see it as the best existing starting point for the evolution of new forms of organizing society.
In order to achieve global change, we must have a governance model that can evolve into a global governance body. It is clear that existing forms of hierarchical or political government cannot be used to implement the methods we have outlined or achieve the goals we have set forth. We must use a compatible governing body type with what we want to do and that will produce the results we want. This new governing system needs to accept power from the old structures while helping to implement new compatible local governance. It also needs to be able to block the attempts of people who try to establish new forms of hierarchical government. All new governing systems or governing bodies must be based solely on policy and not structure in order to be successful.
What Will It Take?
To bring about the change needed, everything humanity presently believes and thinks they know about life must be brought into question. Turning the tide will require us to make drastic, radical and far-reaching changes. We know that any plan must be based on principles that are simple, effective, unambiguous, and far-reaching. We know that it calls for several steps to be taken, many of which need to be taken simultaneously. We believe the following steps, listed in no particular order, need to be part of the transformation.
Begin a global movement to carry out the mission of promoting holistic optimal wellness by putting life together.
Establish a global form of governance to carry out the policy of promoting holistic optimal wellness and putting life together on all levels in the present and for the future.
Turn all interim means available, whether financial, political, scientific, religious, or otherwise, from whatever source, toward this end.
Restructure all existing governments around this new best for all of life paradigm.
Restructure all military forces to take on the sole mission of assisting with this project.
Phase out all fiscal for-profit based entities and profit incentives.
Orient social rewards to promote holistic optimal wellness in the long term future.
Plan the end of products and activities that are obviously or potentially destructive to the planet's ecosystem.
Reroute or control all human activity that reduces holistic optimal wellness.
Begin and carryout a massive effort to reverse any damage caused by pollution and other adverse human activity.
Spend money to promote, encourage and bring about this activity and change… and then phase it out.
Encourage people to adopt this mission and work voluntarily for that outcome.
Develop non-monetary motivations for human activity.
Beyond this, people will need to make changes they can't even imagine in order to meet the challenge. These changes will include, but not be limited to, changing our thinking and other paradigms, learning to act for the benefit of all life, limiting population growth, and much more.
Will Our Species Act In Time?
We've been told we're crazy, it will never work, and more. We've even been told that we are ahead of our time. Really? How long can we wait? The perfect solution hasn't appeared in humanity's sights yet. But know there is an idea. Governing with the goal of serving all life provides a perspective completely different from anything being done today. Yes, the proposed mission statement is focused and simple with long reaching positive potential. This may well be something few humans are ready for. We look around and it's business as usual. When we talk to people they indicate that they are afraid of drastic change. We understand that there are a lot of details to work out! We know hard changes are called for, but if no action is taken it will be because the human species lacks the will to change, not the ability to change.
We continue to believe that a life is one perspective will need to become the dominant paradigm if humanity is to survive as a part of life. Looking around, it is clear that our current paradigm is producing a wide gap away from the sustaining force of life. There's not much positive on our greedy, self-reliant narrow side of that gap. As we arrogantly continue to contribute to pollution, war, climate change, extinctions, we continue to harm our planet, our neighbors, and ourselves. In the end, we are each putting ourselves in critical danger by not acting.
Three simple points:
1. Every natural system has built-in processes that push back to restore balance when something is upsetting it. The Earth is no different! Humanity is upsetting our planet's natural system, and the system is pushing back to restore balance. It's up to us to determine how far we need to be pushed. If we do nothing, it seems likely that we'll be pushed right out of existence.
2. Every self-help plan agrees on one principle: focus on what you want to happen! Figure out where that is and work on getting where you want to go, and stop moving toward a destination you don't want to reach! Right now, it's easy to see what direction we're heading in. As individuals and as a species, we must stop our self-destructive activity and work on achieving the simple goals of health, peace, and happiness that most people share. If we do what is outlined here we will actually get much more.
3. We either change drastically or we're gone! Throughout human history, we have not realized our basic perspective error because we have always been working from the inside of that old box. Religions have made an effort to teach us HOW. Environmental movements have also tried. But people are feeling more and more disconnected on both personal and global levels. We need to do something different that will connect us.
The Mission Statement
We strive to promote holistic optimal wellness by putting life together, on inter-environmental, inter-personal and personal levels, to develop a new experience in the present and the future.
Who can strive to promote this mission towards holistic optimal wellness by putting life together on all levels? This is a voluntary mission.
So anyone can - anyone who is willing to accept a new focus to develop a new experience in the present and the future.
Our first step is posting this document and we will continue to do whatever we can.
What step will you take to get started?
Wherever your starting, that's OK, remember you are part of life, so it's important to start.
Maybe you start to question the life perspective we've all been taught and begin to imagine what could be from the new perspective.
Maybe you're ready to share your thoughts and this information with others, remember we need a majority.
Maybe you have already chosen to proactively strive to promote this mission and go all out.
Maybe you would just like a bit more information, or like to share with us, you can do that too.