Welcome to Practical Manifestation's Blog, the first personal blog dedicated to global human advancement and not affiliated with any political party or specific religion.
Around the world we are presently seeing a decline in all life support systems & the depletion of nonrenewable resources. In addition, wars, famine, and natural disaster mismanagement are all commonplace. Most would agree that these are unsustainable conditions for long-term prosperity of the human race, but few can agree on what the proper course of action is to rectify the situation.I, as the author of this blog, do not claim to know the answer, but I truly believe the answer can be found through education and communication. With enough educated people putting their heads together, surely we will figure out a way to reduce and even prevent mass starvation, global warfare, and so on. Thus the purpose of our blog, tweets, and upcoming book is multifold:
- to expose the present injustices around the world
- to empower individuals to feel they are capable of creating positive change with the discussion of various techniques for personal development
- to inform people that they can spend money and use social media in ways that promote their values.
This is probably the reason that politicians promise one thing to get into office and do something completely differently once they are there. It is simply indicative of the discrepancy between what the public claims to want and what the public is actually willing to paying for. Capitalism, by design, gives people whatever they are willing to pay for. Right now we get great products at low prices at the expense of people in underdeveloped countries and our natural resources. By educating people so that more are comfortably surviving, they will be able to put their values ahead of money and will be able to afford the slightly more expensive product that is made by the business owned by people that share the values of the customer. Education consists of methods of personal development as well as methods to create positive changes in the world.
Topics covered here and in our upcoming book, Bulding A Better Human, are Science, Spirituality & Philosophy, Health, Ancient History, Resource Management, Politics, Business, and our Vision of the Future from a politically unaffiliated perspective. In this blog we offer book reviews #pmbookreviews and discussions. Note: All blog labels are searchable on twitter
Updates are issued about every two weeks. Receive blog updates via email by entering your email address in the "Follow By Email" box toward the top the right column.
Below is an Overview of the Practical Manifestations' project with links to our 9-part series explaining the principles of our project and giving a preview for the material covered at length in our upcoming book Building A Better Human, coming summer 2013. Note: The full list of all parts of the 9-part series is provided in the links section at the end of each post in the series.
Having finished writing the Overview, Action Plan and Desperation we are now in the process of writing the other sections.
OverviewWe provide a lot of background information below regarding the Practical Manifestations' project, but if you would like to skip to learning about how you personally can participate, please click the following link:
There is a high level of desperation in the world today. Now, more than ever, people are taking prescription and illegal drugs, and drinking and smoking to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. The American Chemical Society estimates that Americans spend about $302 Billion per year on prescription medications. That is about 13 prescriptions for every man, woman, and child. There is a feeling of being powerless, and it seems that Western medicine is not able to find the cure for the ailments of the population. This is probably the reason that so many people turn to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain.
Scientists find that there is a lingering belief in determinism in Western culture. It is a belief that a person's life is pretty much determined for him at birth by genetics and the laws of nature. In our upcoming book, we analyze where this belief came from, but suffice it to say, it is a belief that is thousands of years old and endures to this day. It contributes significantly to the tendency people have to seek cures outside of themselves rather than within. And when the external cures do not work, they become desperate and try to mask the pain.
Aside from the high level of exposure the media gives us to the chaotic events occuring around the world, some of the reason so many people are so desperate today is probably because they are working too hard and do not have the time to seek internal balance. They turn to Western medicine, but Western medicine is a business. Pharmaceutical companies make far more money by selling ongoing treatments than by selling cures. The amount of impact this fact has on the ability for corporations to find cures is completely speculative, but it is reasonable to think it does have at least some impact. One would hope that the heads of any given organization put the happiness and livelihood above the profit of the company, but time and time again, this has proven to not be the case. Just in the past few years, many companies filed for bankruptcy. The heads of each company left with millions of dollars in their pockets and the employees, who had company stock, lost all of their retirement savings in some cases. That brings us to the topic of money.
Money: If you have money, it helps to ensure your survival and happiness. But it also causes starvation, poverty, and war around the world and pollution of the environment. Because money, when held as the superior value, means everything else must be sacrificed: all values, the happiness of others, the survival of others, and the environment. Not everyone holds money as the superior value, but people that own businesses need to do so if the businesses are to survive. Otherwise, another business will provide the goods and services at a cheaper price and the first business will go under.
The economic systems of the world work for now for some people. But how long can we continue damaging the environment, starving each other, hindering their ability to pursue happiness, and killing each other? As time goes on, the world population continues to grow. So long as money remains the superior value, we can probably expect war, poverty, and starvation around the world to continue, if not increase.
There are some signs of weakness in the economic systems around the world.
For instance, countries continue to borrow more and more, thereby putting the respective citizens in more debt. Just in the US, the national debt has tripled in the last few years. In the meantime, corporations continue to mount their wealth, and some have become wealthier than entire countries.
Since so many countries are accruing so much debt and the world's population continues to grow, which will put more strain on governments to try to support the poorer classes, it would suggest that keeping separate currencies for each country will not work in the future. Also the view of money as being superior to human life and natural resources (including nonrenewable resources) means that these things are expendable in the pursuit of money.
With money as the superior value, it translates in an inefficient use of nonrenewable resources.
By definition, continued use of nonrenewable resources is not a sustainable condition. Somehow we need to find ways of using renewable resources if our civilization is to survive. Thus far, the powers that be claim that it is too expensive to develop technology that is able to take advantage of renewable resources. Again, we see the placement of money above everything else. It seems likely that a plan for the future will incorporate renewable resources and the move may not make fiscal sense, but it will make sense for our survival.
Business and Politics
The assignment of money as the superior value in Western society affects everything, but two places it is most apparent are in business and politics. We like to think that business people and politicians put ethics first, but frequently there are stories in the news that this is not the case. When some businesses put money first, it forces their competitors to do the same, otherwise they go bankrupt. Similarly, when some politicians put money first, it forces their competitors to do the same, otherwise they do not get re-elected. As discussed above, putting money first means that people and natural resources are expendable in its pursuit. A vision for the future would include businesses and politicians that put ethics above money--it would be a values based system. So where did our values in business and politics go? Corporations, by definition, put money first, and politicians get a lot of money from corporations. But corporations get their money by people in society spending money. So if corporations and politicians seem to put money first, it is probably because many people in society put money first. So where did society's values go?
Spirituality and Philosophy (Under Construction)
One reason that values in society have sort of disappeared may due to the gradual retraction of spirituality and philosophy in Western culture. Westerners used to have a common bond in Western religions, namely Judaism and Christianity. With the advancement of science since the Scientific Revolution, several of the theories held firm by Western traditions were not able to withstand the challenges of the scientific community. Recognizing the popularity of the scientific approach, Western religions and philosophies began to define themselves in relation to science.
Recently Western religions have had even more difficult issues to deal with. Since many of the forefathers of the United States were Christian, Christianity had long been considerably influential in the structures and landscapes of America. In an effort toward creating tolerance, many Christian symbols and mentions of God have been redacted from American culture, including in our schools.
A byproduct of the retraction of spiritual and philosophical traditions in Western culture is that it creates the appearance that they were somehow in error. The only things we can all speak freely about are science and money, basically because we all rely on them and they are undeniably real. Curiously, money is not as real as it seems and science has fairly large loopholes it cannot explain, but they are less contentious than spiritual and philosophical traditions.
Science (Under Construction)
With the traditions having faded into the shadows, so too have the values that each tradition stood for. Money and science have become the only things almost everyone trusts, but these things do not tell us how to treat one another. Some claim that in order to figure out the best plan for survival of our civilization, all we need is science. However, this assumes each individual is interested in the entire civilization surviving for a long time. As with money, different people have different perspectives as to the goal of the game. Some think the purpose is to exploit people and resources so that a single person eventually owns everything.
Science can only tell you the best way to go about reaching a goal when people agree on what the goal is. In order to determine the goal and in order to distinguishes which paths are acceptable to reach that goal, we need to come to a consensus on values. Most spiritual traditions agree on the Golden Rule: love one another, so that would probably be a good place to start. Next, we might look to non-religious institutions for insights as to other values: the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, for example. It is only with a consensus on some list of values that our society can expect advance in a collaborative effort. A one person takes all scenario would probably not last long, because who would protect that person--each of his/her protectors would be tempted to usurp the top person.
Education (Under Construction)
The education system in America has been under a large amount of scrutiny for the last several years, and many were uncertain as to how lacking the system actually was. Eventually an international study was conducted by OECD in 2009 and found that despite paying the second highest amount per student for education, American students were testing about average. A second study, conducted by Harvard University, found that on average, children in some foreign countries were doubling the US' rate of educational advancement.
The US is quickly falling behind and politicians and administrators across the nation are working hard to figure out why we are lagging so badly. The OECD study found that children in poorer areas in the US were twice as likely to do poorly in school compared with children in poorer areas of other countries. Hence, the administrators of the study suggested that the powers that be in the US consider giving better resources to schools in poorer areas. This is partially addressed with the Title 1 program, begun in the 1960's, but there is much work to be done.
Education of the population is important because as we approach a period of potential transition to renewable resources and better treatment of humans around the globe, both rich and poor, a well-educated populus will be better equipped to deal with the changes. That brings us to Communication and Action.
Communication (Under Construction) & Action
The average person is probably aware that the present conditions are not sustainable. Most people understand that the world population continues to grow and by polluting our natural resources, eventually our civilization will run low on food, water, and nonrenewable sources of power.
The question is then, "What do we do about it?" Unfortunately, many people believe there is very little the average person can do about global conditions. They think that in order to have any real impact, you need to be a major share holder of a large corporation or be a big shot politician. The reality is that the average person can have a large impact on global conditions, and this occurs in mainly two ways: communication and action.
With the growth of the internet, humans around the world can now communicate with each other almost simultaneously. We can research all the topics we are interested in and broadcast our findings using social media. By using hash tags (#), we can use Twitter(R) and FaceBook(R) to communicate on various topics with people around the world.
In addition to communication, we can also have a large impact on the world with the way we spend money and engage in the global economy. It is important that in the global economy everything each person does has an impact. It is true, large corporations have a larger effect on politicians and legislation, but each individual gives specific large corporations that power when he/she buys the products the corporation is selling. For example, buying a Dell(R) product has a different impact than buying an Apple(R) product. Depending on which product you buy, the stake holders of each corporation will influence politicians in a different way.
Vision for the Future (Under Construction)
Just as it is difficult to come to agreement on how each individual could have an impact on the world, so too is it hard to reach a consensus on what we would like the future to be for our civilization. Some imagine it will all culminate in a sort of race for the last of the nonrenewable resources, and only a few will reign supreme over the masses. Others think we will somehow learn to manage our resources efficiently so that everyone on the planet is able to survive and live with adequate accommodations.
In our upcoming book, we consider the outlook of Jacque Fresco, founder of the Venus Project. He envisions a world free from money--one where resources are managed in an efficient manner in order to bring happiness to all. He does not know how the transition will take place, but he hopes it will be a peaceful one. One day there might be only a few people with all the money and the masses would have to convince them that they all needed to work together to preserve the earth and provide for future generations.
No one knows what the future will bring and how long the current economic systems of the world will endure. But in the meantime we can each work to ensure that the advancement of our civilization is a peaceful one. We can each engage in our respective economies and use social media to share knowledge of how science and technology can be used to the benefit of all for present generations and for those to come.