...in its as yet vastly unrefined state, has been indefinitely put on hold while I, your fellow human, deal with pressing family and personal issues. Thank you for visiting, and please know that it is my intention to further, and substantially, develop this web site on several major fronts, and that I hope you continue to check back.
Thank you. -fellow human)
I see an untapped route to a better world. It involves simply talking, about the nature of people. Not about the nature of people other than ourselves, or people in the sense of "us and them", but about all of us as human beings. In fact, part of what I hope to make the case for here, is that there is no us and them. There's really, only us.
I have walked 3600 miles, across America... but that is not why I came out here. I came out here to connect... with... you, through this project. Together, we need to talk about us.
We are six billion individuals. Yet incredibly, virtually every single one of us seems to believe we have the right take on things. Just think about that. Is there a hidden message there?
As I have walked thousands of miles I have talked to hundreds and hundreds of Americans about what is at the heart of our most complicated and troublesome issues. Nearly every conversation has turned to discussing "them" as the source of disruption. But what's remarkable, is that over the course of my walk, each one of these Americans has in turn essentially been referred to as one of "them" by others. It turns out that "they" are the Democrats and the Republicans. The God fearing and the Godless. The rich and the poor. The hawks and the doves. The Muslims and the Christians. The ambitious and the indifferent, and on and on and on.
Understand that these assertions come from sincere, concerned, well meaning people. With this in mind, is the reality of this giant circle of fingers, each pointing away to the next, so commonplace to us that we do not see the massive yet silent suggestion it makes about how we function as human beings?
I believe the above factors are part of a great body of evidence that is all around us.
A monumental implication about us is silently blazing between the lines of this evidence.
An implication that has lain before us since the beginning of history, invisible until such time as we might finally grow enough to see it.
I believe that time is now and the implication is this: there are aspects of our very identity as human beings that are profoundly impacting the perspective of the human self, but that we as selves are virtually unaware of.
We are dualistic beings. On one side we have our instincts. Our survival instincts are like a failsafe program. The directive of this program is to look out for the individual or the self. This is a reactive mechanism. It does not think. It does not reason. It has no insight or foresight. Yet it is an incredibly complex stimulus within us in relation to the way it constantly reacts to the world around us.
Then there is our moral side. Our moral side is in consideration of others; of cooperation. It inherently involves reason; foresight; insight.
These two sides of our nature are entwined with each other and in relation to the modern world express themselves in all kinds of confusing combinations. The lack of awareness we have for this structure of our nature and the dynamic relationship that our two sides share has resulted in an inability to reconcile them and accept the relationship that we as fallible human beings have with them. As I aim to show you, these aspects of our nature, or more accurately the lack of awareness we have for them, are connected to nearly all forms of disruption and division among us.
Identifying these aspects of our selves and rendering the recognition, understanding and consideration of them as commonplace for human beings is a great missing part of the equation for a better world. The route to doing this is through the encouragement of greater self awareness
Self awareness is a valid and hugely consequential factor in our lives. But like many other aspects of the human condition it has been greatly misrepresented, exploited, romanticized and just plain misunderstood. So first I want to make something very clear here. I am not "self aware". What I am promoting here is not self awareness as an end. It is the pursuit of greater self awareness; it is growth. Each one of us experiences a level of self awareness and each one of us can become more self aware.
Now I want to try to draw a structured definition of self awareness out of the cloud of inconsistent spiritualism and "new age" assertions, and legitimize it with concrete connections to what the common person already widely understands and accepts.
The experience of self consists of two worlds: an outer world and an inner world.
The outer world is everything that is not us.
Our inner world is where certain aspects of who we are intersect:
Our inborn individuality---our particular mental and emotional inclinations, desires and dislikes.
Our instinctual make up---of particular relevance here are our instincts for survival.
Our life experience.
And our moral nature.
These aspects of our self engage to different degrees in response to what we experience in the outside world.
The spectrum of self awareness consists of the following:
How aware we are of the full nature of these aspects of ourselves.
How aware we are of their constantly changing combinations as a stimulus that impacts our choices. How aware we are of all choices that are available to us.
And how aware we are of what is behind the choices we ultimately make.
The inner world of human beings is fully half of the equation of our experience. The degree to which we are aware of this, defines what we do in the outside world which in truth defines the human world in its entirety.
Over the rest of this project I hope you'll continue to explore self awareness with me in excerpts that I call "offerings". The offerings are so named because, out of absolute respect for your unique perspective and my own fallibility, they are offered instead of dictated to you. They are the heart of my part of this project and will always be accessible via the home page. With the offerings we will attempt to isolate, open up, examine, learn and teach about, some of the most relevant and often disruptive ways that dysfunctional self awareness is expressed in our lives. Furthermore we will be discussing ways in which to optimize the growth of our own self awareness. This is to round out self awareness as an overall concept and create a working knowledge of it that can be applied in our lives. Lastly we will be discussing ways to integrate a greater stimulus for self awareness into our educational systems as one single effort that has immense potential to change our world for the better, from the inside out.
Try not to presume you really "know" what this is about yet. Much of what it's about is counter-intuitive. Try not to use what I have already said, to conclude what I have not said yet. Instead, let's talk about your thoughts. That's part of what this is all about: talking in order to understand! In fact I am depending on you to help me flesh this project out. What do you think about the concepts of self awareness, the inner and outer worlds and others I've written about? Would you help me explain them further? Write your questions comments or criticisms about this material, the walk, the site or any other aspect of the project in the appropriate comments section or forum. I would really appreciate it!
Here's a link to a story about a run in I had with some hostile people. It exemplifies some of the potential of greater self awareness.
Until next time, please, go with care.