Rigidity, expressed through blind partisanship, is seriously damaging the United States. However, every conscious individual, organization, and country is fully capable of psychological flexibility & therefore maturation. A few reasons for hope:
“for real change to happen, a more humanistic & socially driven logic that embraces deeply rooted universal human capacities & needs for attention, awareness, relationality, & caring has to be legitimated in society at large.”
Mette Lund Kristensen. “Mindfulness and Resonance in an Era of Acceleration: a Critical Inquiry.” Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion. 2018; 15 (2): 178–195.
“Life (can be seen) as a journey towards wisdom & maturity, where both good or pleasurable and bad or painful experiences can help people learn & develop through six recognizable stages:
1. Egocentric (immature, self-referenced existence)
2. Conditioning (learning through insistent and persistent family & social traditions)
3. Conformist (seeking to belong by following social conventions)
4. Individual (starting to think, speak & act independently)
5. Integration (shifting values & behavior towards altruism, through recognizing one’s deep kinship with the entirety of humanity)
6. Universal (achieving maturity & wisdom, becoming a natural teacher & healer).”
Research has shown that in western society, the majority of people past their teen years are at or between stages three or four i.e. are still culturally adolescent.
Larry Culliford. “Seeking Wisdom: A Spiritual Manifesto.” Univ of Buckingham Pr, 2018.
“A healthy organization … is one that enables mature human functioning … being able to care compassionately for oneself and for others without losing sight of either, while moving comfortably between supporting organizational goals and taking initiative to create what is missing.”
Kathryn Goldman Schuyler, Michelle Olsen Taylor, Orit M. Wolberger. “Bringing Mindfulness and Joy to Work: Action Research on Organizational Change.” Handbook of Personal and Organizational Transformation, 2018, pp1193-1217.
The goal of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is to help a wide range of participants discover, befriend, and gradually inhabit, embody & express the deepest domain of their being. Given a lifetime of very different conditioning, the task is not easy, but possible and highly desirable.
"The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up — ever — trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy?" Terry Tempest Williams
“Throughout history, the really fundamental changes in societies have come about not from the dictates of governments and the results of battles, but through vast numbers of people changing their minds, sometimes only a little bit.” Willis Harman
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