Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 20, 2007


We have been developing a conversation about the nature of individual optimal experience in the context of creating a sustainable world. This assumes that our current course is not sustainable. The discussion builds on a view of the universe and its origins that accepts a continuous, unfolding evolution as the norm – as its purpose. This unfolding represents progress from a pure state of homogeneity, before the Big Bang, if you will. It can be thought of as a condition of pure light or pure darkness. If it was darkness, then the profound question orients to the introduction of light, for surely that is what happened. This light went out and darkness knew itself, had an experience of itself due to its relationship with the light. Thus this simple differentiation created the first experience of itself that hitherto did not exist. From this light, pockets of energy aggregated in places; a trend of integration, of coming together in which like attracted like. Over time, as the density of the energy increased, these pockets grew unstable until they could no longer hold together. They disintegrated, but the new pieces represented a more complex packet of energy than just the pure light or the pure darkness. Over time, these new, more complex energy forms re-integrated to form, eventually, matter. This process of differentiation and integration repeated itself over and over, and it still does, over the eons. The universe began to organize as a result of the increasing complexity of each of the constituent parts. Our ability to understand this history of the universe, as it reflects the growth from energy to matter to life forms, to awareness to consciousness to rationality to intuition and inspiration, allows us to envision the possibilities of the future. We learn from the simple notion that we are in a place of conscious awareness that is unprecedented, yet is not the final resting place. Thus we have the opportunity to recognize the trend. We might then use the idea of aligning with this trend as informative to our conscious choices.

So from the broad perspective of humanity, willingness to act on this knowledge of future possibilities as it relates to our cultural wisdom and the effect on the living Earth is crucial. In order to get to a place of acting, we must become willing, collectively, to choose a sustainable vision of the future, allow that which does not serve this vision to fall away, and open to the creative response that moves in to take the place of that which has fallen away. This is not necessarily a process that needs to be controlled. It is my belief that the combination of articulating a congruent vision and allowing the old pieces to fall away is sufficient for the right solutions to manifest. This is the process of emergence that governs the behavior and success of all groups throughout the living world. Yet, in delving deeper, we see that this process of turning the cultural inertia starts at the individuated level of each person. We reflect on our contribution to the whole that is projected out from our interior. Creating the shift requires the work of individuals to look with in, through introspection, to see the roots of the external paradigm. These roots spring from the seeds of our ancestors, of the previous cycles of individuation and integration. As such, they are not bad, they are not something to be ashamed of. Rather, they are part of us and must remain so in order to progress.

So we must welcome all of our makeup in order to let go of the parts that do not currently serve and move into something new, creative and better aligned with the destiny we choose. We try to accept that our level of consciousness and the exquisite rationality that has sprung forth with it, is what allows us, indeed requires us to recognize our now, responsibility for choosing destiny. This is a symptom of our success and is not to be taken lightly. For only in fully accepting this capacity to make or destroy the living world, do we really put our selves in the place of making better decisions. Recognize those arguments that say, ‘it is not our doing that is causing global warming or deep changes to the geobiosphere, these have always happened over the history of the Earth. Recognize this argument for what it is, a denial of our evolved being and our emerging role in the universe.

We identified some of the psychological issues that contribute to the inability to accept the opportunity before us. These issues hold the roots of the above mentioned argument against our role as humans. These issues are a natural outgrowth of our ego development. They were born in our evolved brain, and took a leap forward at the time of conversion from the Neolithic age to the common era, a time in which the balance of an established matriarchy was destroyed by the individuating energy of male patriarchy. It has been some 5,000 years of this cycle of individuation during which time the incredible advances in our rational, scientific capabilities has arisen. But this success is also the source of the problems we face. The opportunity is to learn that we must again let go of aspects of ourselves that have lead to this success so that something new and creative can take its place.

We have said that the answers lie in a creative process that recognizes the challenge of moving forward into the unknown. We recognize traditions of indigenous cultures that can inform us about how to more readily do this. We can apply these traditions to energy practices and learn to move away from pure rationality into new modes of knowing. The discussion of the spiritual becomes pertinent as we recognize the influence of all time and all living creatures that have both come before us, and are yet to come, on our current state of being. It is our job at this time to open ourselves up to these various wisdoms and experiences, to take energy away from the entrenched cultures and institutions, and reinvent ourselves at the individual level, so the collective, global culture can reinvent itself.

I can hear the response from the world at large now: what a bunch of horseshit. First, let me take a moment to be open to understanding that thought came from my brain. In Deepak Chopra’s fictional account of the life of Buddha, called Buddha, Chopra describes Buddha’s thinking as he was plagued by the same sort of defeating thoughts. It was interesting for me to read this account of someone ignoring these thoughts, and being motivated by something different. That felt familiar. Despite the rising of rational thoughts, fears and concerns, like how will I pay the bills?; there is not enough scientific evidence in this book; I don’t cite enough (barely any) references in this book; it won’t be taken seriously because it does not propose fact built upon accepted, peer-tested fact – despite these thoughts, something impels me just as something impelled Chopra’s fictional Buddha. Buddha, according to Chopra, thought about the life he had left; a heartbroken wife; a devastated father; a kingdom for which he had been taught he was responsible as the future king. Still he pressed on. Buddha was quite purposeful in ignoring the pleading of his thoughts. Despite my own doubts, I too press on. Press forward toward some unknown calling. I write what feels like truth. There is thought – creative thought that looks for connections, interactions, relationships. These aspects of the writing are tested in my body, with regard to their pertinence and veracity.

Let it be known that this imagined criticism comes from all sides. Yes, the academics won’t think for a second about this book. The scientists either. Members of the green movement may find it too spiritual in nature; not enough environmental science, biology, geology. I pick up Greg Palast’s book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and find my self quickly outraged, grief stricken and angry by reading just a couple of his vignettes. My book will have none of this emotive, fact-based, outrageous reporting. His is interesting stuff, but it makes me feel awful. Isn’t there another way? Is there any chance that the orientation to nirvana that I’d like to think is expressed in these pages will have any effect? Ahh, those rational thoughts again. My brain tells me that there is nothing to be gained with this book, with these ideas. It tells me that they are poorly organized (teetering on gibberish), un-researched and, yes, Polly-Anna-ish.

Now I can add a new item to my list of greatest faults turned into greatest strengths: Polly-Anna-ish turned into a strength. That would be a trick. I’d like to see the headline. They won’t run it, probably in the US, but maybe Greg Palast would write about it for a liberal British newspaper: “American Turns Polly Anna Ideas Into Strength! Dateline Connecticut: Readership of the blog and soon to be published book by the amazingly naive title of Abundance, is reaching remarkable heights as the one-hundredth reader has logged on to the website at which author MG Harris is putting the finishing touches on his Polly-Anna-ish non-fiction account of how to save the world. Harris could not be reached for comment, however sources close to him report that he spends his days alternately typing and writhing on the floor in either agony or ecstasy – no one seems to be sure which.” That is the nature of following this unknown, deepest calling, the one that brings out my Polly Anna. It is alternately agony and ecstasy. It is neither my savior nor my bane. It simply is a deep calling to which I am currently willing and able to follow. What lies ahead remains to be seen. Yet it is possible to follow this calling into the abyss of unknown and still hold a vision. I am using my capacity to write, finally, for something that feels pure and right. I am expanding my experience beyond my rational thought, something I was schooled and conditioned for half my life to think of as all I’d ever need. A new way of being is a new realm. New realms are exciting if you can get past the fear of leaving the old realm. One doesn’t do this just once, but over and over. Everyday, every minute is an opportunity for the conditioned thoughts to arise. Sometimes they suck the energy right out of me. But even that experience, I’ve come to discover, just feeds another cycle of inspiration. I only need to be patient. I open Wayne Dyer’s book, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem and this is what I read: He quotes A Course in Miracles, “Infinite patience produces immediate results”. I seem to remember reading these words myself. But I never could understand that book. It was a constant battle between my rational mind to let go of needing to understand and just absorb the words. I remember the experience when prompted, but as yet have not been able to conjure it up at will.
Secretly, I have already added this apparent weakness of Polly-Anna-ness as a subcategory of a broader category of weaknesses I have known about for some time: Idealism. At one time, during my earlier career, I worked as an engineer in the marketing department of a public utility. Automatically, one is impelled toward the thought of a lost soul simply by trying to imagine an engineer in a marketing department; it rings of oxymoron. I was rather naive going into the job and not a little confused about who I was. Yet, there were aspects of my nature that would seep out around the weird and twisted garments I clutched tightly around my persona. At one point a boss commented that I was idealistic. I immediately took this to be a bad thing. In business, one is pragmatic, results oriented. The bottomline is the bottomline. I spent the next several years trying to accommodate this idealism inside of my striving, fear-ridden, over-desiring, under-achieving lifestyle wondering why things seemed so difficult.

My next job put me in contact with a brilliant intellect, a writer and businessman with a amazing technical capacity and sufficient people skill and political cunning to negotiate the halls of a large, corporate energy entity. He is now the President of that group. For a while, he mentored me and during that time told me my writing was characterized by the ability to turn a phrase. But this was business writing, it wasn’t about turning a phrase. It was about organization, facts, research; bottomline. I wondered why it seemed so difficult. Now, as I attempt to create from the depths of my being, there is only one route. To turn phrase after phrase in an attempt to allow that which is trapped, to escape. More than that, might we allow these words to evoke feelings and emotion in addition to logical connections? Could it be that there is value delivered by simply providing the former, regardless of the strength, quality and quantity of the latter? I studied logic in college. It was great. I loved it, and was good at it. It is not very useful when it comes to spirituality or politics. For those that have escaped both of these, you may find it more valuable than I.

So now I write through my weaknesses: I turn idealistic phrases. I link them together into Polly Anna-ish arguments. And I’m lovin’ it baby! Is there anything to learn here? Is it realistic and even possible to think that we can turn our life purpose toward something that springs from deep within, and still house and feed ourselves and our loved ones? Let me tell you a quick story. On Saturday our elderly neighbor called and hesitatingly told me that her dryer had stopped working. Barbara’s husband is elderly and sick. She confessed that his laundry needs are greater than we probably realized. She asked if she could use our dryer for a short time on Sunday until she was able to devise a solution the following week. Of course I said yes. These are good friends for whom money has become a challenge as they get on in years and try to manage the life in their older Federal style home to which they have become so accustomed. The following day, I had an appointment at ten o’clock in the morning. While there, the owner of the home pointed out a washer and dryer sitting in front of the garage and told me that the washer had stopped working. So they replaced both washer and dryer. The old dryer was working fine. Did I know anyone that needed a dryer? The contractor I was with had a pick up truck. The homeowner knew my neighbor and was delighted to help. The contractor delivered the dryer on his way out of town.

If it is our intention to live from the deepest place in ourself that we possibly can, then it can be done. Synchronistic events will arise to tell us so. If we are open to the experience of choosing our intention, and thus our direction, we will be rewarded with experience and thus, wisdom. If we apply this wisdom to our journey and maintain or adjust our intention as needed, a thread of life will emerge that reflects our deepest intention along every segment. It will hold the essence of the whole in every fiber and every centimeter. This thread is our life theme and it is there waiting for us to discover it. It has been there from the beginning. It waits. From the moment we were born, until the day we die, it waits. If remains after we are gone and is embodied anew until realized. And even then, it simply becomes the cornerstone for some new great work.


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