Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Empowerment Concept - The Big Picture - Change & Education

The Big Picture a Contextual Summary

The Big Picture a Contextual Summary is the conclusion to the document "A Vision to Transform the World" which is an executive summary of theories and action items for rural revitalization and empowerment. “The Big Picture” is an idea was incapsulated in the last year as a result of about twenty-two years of various “concepts” floating around my head. In the 1980’s I was introduced to Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, which I believe to be an important contribution to our understanding of humans and the various stages of development, and psycho-social motivations.

We believe that Maslow’s model as a conceptual foundation is solid, however, over the years we think there are some ways that
it may be adjusted. It is not the point here to go into a lengthy discourse, however, we would like to introduce these ideas as possibilities to the reader. The first is that in our personal experience, and our observation of people, that there are opportunities to catalyze individual evolution. The term fairly commonly used for this would be “spiritual awakening”. We believe there are increasing potentialities to raise people out of the lower levels of the Maslow’s pyramid and allow them to experience dramatic transformations. Our approaches, especially related to empowerment will readily embrace these possibilities, although we understand in scientific circles these are difficult to support. We however will remain open to those possibilities because in a very real sense, we think that real empowerment, and a wholesale transformation of human life on the planet is going to require the introduction of influences that fall way outside the paradigmatic realm of “mode
rn” science.

A second point relates to this idea adapted to collective experience. We are recognizing as a real possibility that we may be
able to stimulate with these new approaches to rural empowerment, a paradigmatic shift for the communities that we work with. To use another phrase would be a “technology leap”. Our hope is that as we take the lessons that we have learned from our work in the United States, which some would suggest had “advanced” ahead of developing places, that the lessons learned, especially in regards to mistakes, could be avoided.

A specific example is where we are currently deploying our strategies in South America. One of our team is originally from there but spent most of his career in the U.S. He has stated on a number of occasions that the U.S. is twenty years ahead of most South American countries. I would argue that those twenty years are not necessarily all in positive ways. In fact, regarding food and agriculture and other systems, I believe developments have become more and more problematic. Many examples could be provided. The point here is the hope that we might be able to take the lessons learned, mistakes and/or successes from one place (United States), and help another place avoid the same problems, or implement the successes. This potentially could even contribute to, or stimulate, a paradigm shift and/or a technology leap, in essence advancing that place and its people ahead twenty years of potential trials and tribulations. We see this happening in numerous places around the globe, so this is not just a “pipe dream”.

Diagram 17: The Big Picture – In Simple Terms (for a larger image Click Here)

Diagram 17 moves conceptually from the upper left to right to depict those factors that are needed to move people and
communities forward through education. Each arrow in the diagram indicates movement and connection, but also identifying critical factors for evolution. Critical ideas regarding connection to the environment, spiritual connections and the potential for dramatic spiritual or personal transformation are also included. The flow of the diagram points to what we believe the bottom line to be – individual transformation (inspiration, empowerment). Also introduced is the ultimate role that technologies can serve as a means to expand communications, and the application towards managing and addressing the pressing problems that humanity faces.

The foundation of this diagram can be captured in the quote from John Hagelin “One hundred percent of human potential is the
result of proper education”. To that end, ideas that have been put forward by various people are also included in the diagram as contributing to the idea of advanced, “out-of-the-box” thinking which will be necessary if we hope to create new paradigms of existence. Such authors and inspirational leaders such as Thomas Berry, Bob Proctor and Neale Donald Walsch have introduced concepts specifically about our human capacities and foci that our education should take, in addition to our relationship to the planet.

All of these concepts lead toward what we hope to be a better life for everyone on the planet. An idea that I would introduce
here has come from a life of experience and self searching: and that is the idea that I really am my own savior, but, in order to be aligned with Love, once I have realized my own blessed life, that it is my duty and responsibility to make the same available to others. That, in a nutshell, is the ultimate purpose of the Experiential University and for making the rural empowerment strategies and courses available to the world. To take the various experiences and things that I have learned and share them with others in hopes to provide to them the same opportunities and blessings that I have received so abundantly.

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