The Next Event

OK,

so we had our shooting in Paris (not sure if anyone considers the daily casualties in places like Nigeria, Syria, Libya, Iraq to name just a few) and all in the western world seem to be grabbed by the drama, the strong emotions that come with it. Take a look back at this post https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/on-human-interaction-four-levels/. I learned from Alan Seale (http://www.transformationalpresence.org) that a distinction can be made in four levels of human engagement:

  1. the drama; whose fault is it?
  2. the situation, the facts, how do we fix it as quickly as possible? It’s about making things OK again.
  3. level of choice: who do I want to be in this situation?
  4. opportunity; what is it that is really wanting to happen? What is the gift?

On levels 1 and  no learning takes place. It might be where mass consciousness is living.

On levels 3 and 4 things start to shift as we redefine our relation with the drama.

So in relation to the ‘drama’ in France (or any other of the many dramas around  the world) : What is the opportunity? What are the missing conversations? What wants to show itself that we have not been able or willing to see? My quick guess at the moment is that it is calling for a different  way of living together on the planet as one humankind. We can’t go on exploiting the earth and its inhabitants in the name of free market economy. As if trying to make as much money as possible is the dharma of mankind. We can’t go on cutting people out from the abundance we create. We can’t go on locking people away in endless suburbs with no perspective to a meaningful and fulfilling life. On account of the free market economy. So again, what wants to show itself through these acts of terror? Why are so many people immensely scared?  Why haven’t we been able to hear them? To listen to them? And work out a different way of peacefully and prosperously living together? Away from any kind of dogma. Why are we trying to make things OK again? OK for who? It’s time to change the game. We’re in this together…..

Peace be upon us,

 

Geert

 

 

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I wonder….

Good day!

So there’s another few states violently trying to beat down protests. And yet another few are so afraid of its own citizens and neighbors that they have started to collect as many expressions by them as possible in huge databases. In order to be able to throw a suspicion at each of us at the whim of some bureaucrat/s at whatever point in time

So I wonder where this fear comes from and why it is so persistent. Why do people like Erdogan (but it’s not just him) believe they can get away with oppressing the people in their countries? Why do they think they can stop a process which is inevitable and irrevocable since it finds its origin in a different source. What would it take for them to leave throw their petty political and personal agenda out of the window and make room for that which want to become manifest?

Why can’t those so-called leaders not see what wants to emerge? Is it that they identify so much with the role they have? Do they take themselves too seriously? And mind you: I’m pretty sure it is rather obscure for many of the protesters as well. But still they have the courage to respond to this new universal signal: no longer is it one for all. (And speaking of courage: what to think about this individual Edward Snowden?) We’re in this together. Leadership is a distributed function, and leadership roles will be inhabited by those who can  make the contribution which is required for as long at it is required.

The American people are on a diet of fear. And once more: they’re not the only ones. It may be the consequence of us living our lives under the illusion of separation in a hostile environment, as Charles Eisenstein illustrates so beautifully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZkQv25uEs And inevitably that has gotten a solid political foundation as well. Why is it that no one seems to ask why the American people should be afraid? And of what exactly? And what it would take to get rid of the fear? And again: the USA is not the only country where this is going on. It’s omnipresent.

People like Alan Seale and Otto Scharmer talk about remembering the future that wants to emerge, which to me makes a lot of sense as figuring out where to next is no longer really possible. In his July 1994 speech in America, Vaclav Havel said:

“There are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended. Many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble.”

The modern world as we have come to know and understand it, has ended. I know. Many of you know. When will enough people know and act responsibly in allowing the future that wants to emerge to actually do so.

Peace,

Geert Hofman

www.geerthofman.com

It’s (not necessarily) all about the money

Hello Again!

As you know by now, I find this discussion regarding money quite fascinating. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, due to its nature you can’t ever get enough money. Unless you take a conscious decision that enough is enough, you’ll always want more money. And yeah, well, what can you do with more and more and more money? Buy stuff? Buy more expensive stuff? Buy political power? Why? To get tax breaks that result in you having even more money? So, now that our current way of interest bearing debt based and (money) growth driven economics is coming to an end a question becomes relevant:  what kind of prosperity would we get if we’d stop monetizing each and everything on the planet? What would it mean if we’d collectively step out of the money game and enter the human game?

In this video featuring Umair Haque addressing a conference  http://bit.ly/OmCcA7, he introduces the idea of eudaimonic prosperity. Well, using ancient Greek words always sounds impressive so I looked it up. In Wikipedia I found this:

Eudaimonia or eudaemonia (Ancient Greek: εὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯monía]), sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia (play /juːdɨˈmniə/), is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate translation.[1] Etymologically, it consists of the words “eu” (“good”) and “daimōn” (“spirit”). It is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy, along with the terms “aretē“, most often translated as “virtue” or “excellence”, and “phronesis“, often translated as “practical or moral wisdom.”[2] In Aristotle’s works, eudaimonia was (based on older Greek tradition) used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved.

So it is about good spirit….. Several Greek philosophers have different interpretations of it, though. Roughly they vary from just having a good time (Epicurus) or being active in a life aimed at achieving excellence (arete) in virtue as Aristotle and Socrates suggest. I guess by now we’ve ticked the box of living a life of (superficial and empty-headed) pleasure which does not prove to be enough for sustainable happiness or fulfillment as the senses require constantly new stimuli in order to remain satisfied (sedated) or have at least the illusion that they are so.

Then this video by Charles Eisenstein came to mind. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZkQv25uEs From 09:26 onward he talks about Adulthood. We’re moving out of this childhood phase, where we played around with our talents without connecting those to our true purpose, and entering the phase of Adulthood where the gifts and talents we’ve developed will now be aimed at our purpose. The first step then being healing, a massive amount of it, to heal what we’ve made sick. And that requires that we act, apart from having a changed set of attitudes, a radically changed view of ourselves, of the universe and hence how we relate to that. We need to act collectively, based on our radically changed view of the universe, naturally allowing each of us the freedom that is indissociably ours. Sitting around and thinking about the healing is not enough. And: the acting is not a tick-the-box exercise either. It is a change process by itself through which we will learn to see the beauty of life again, and to honour our habitat at large, including everything that lives in it.

Being active and not just sitting around is also something I find on the cover of my pocket Bhagavad Gita:

“Freedom lies not in renunciation or retreat, but in disciplined action performed with self-knowledge and detachment”

As I’ve also mentioned in my novel The Glass Dome (www.geerthofman.com-glass-dome) one of the conditions that seemingly need to be met is the dissolving of current rigid structures in all fields of our society. And that I expect that not to go peaceful most of the time. Hence interesting times ahead but I’m getting more confident that we’ll be able to make the jump thanks to our collective wisdom, once that gets properly mobilised.  With contribution from people like Umair Haque and Charles Eisenstein, but also John Renesch (https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatGrowingUp) and many more, not all hope is lost!

Any thoughts? I’d like us to explore our road ahead.

Love and Blessings,

Geert

http://www.geerthofman.com

Another shooting….

Good day,

So we had yet another shooting…… A bit more than two weeks after the Aurora shooting, roughly a year after the Oslo carnage (to which the picture above relates). And in spite of the controversy in the US around the question if people should (be allowed to) carry weapons and around the prevalence of violence in TV-series, films and video-games it’s fair to say that the US don’t have the monopoly on violence amongst civilians or of civilians against state institutions. Nor does violence always involve the use of fire arms. In the preface to my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) I pointed at a series of events which took place early 2011. As I suggested by then (August 2011) I was sure that it wasn’t over yet. On the contrary. And it goes to show: earlier this week the town hall in my place of birth (Waalre, The Netherlands) was set fire to during the night by driving two previously stolen cars into the building. The town hall has been destroyed and until now no one has the slightest idea who is responsible for this and what their motives are. Mind you: Waalre has some 16,000 inhabitants and how I remember it, it has nothing of a metropolitan dimension. Just a peaceful quiet little town. Until a few days ago, that is.

So it seems that everybody’s tolerance towards everybody else is getting to an absolute low. Engaging in traffic increasingly involves violent interactions between people as I can read in the papers each day. Going out for a drink often meets with violence. It seems we want to have it our way and our way only and without any delay. Gratification must be immediate, require no further creative engagement on our end (other than to thoughtlessly consume it) and seems to be aimed at dulling the senses rather than providing an uplifting experience aimed at attaining a more refined state of consciousness for instance.

In my blog of Feb 1st I introduced 4 levels of interaction (https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/on-human-interaction-four-levels/) when we are faced with a situation:

  • the drama
  • the facts & figures
  • the different options for reacting
  • what wants to make itself shown?

To stick with the last question: I choose to believe that as mankind we’re facing the transition to a radically new era with radically new ways of viewing ourselves, all others, the world we live in and radically new ways of treating each other and our world. It seems to me that our current institutions and structures in all areas of our world are rapidly becoming obsolete. Without having meaningful alternatives in place yet, our future looks very unstable and insecure with all of us looking for something to hold on to. Clearly, saying our farewell to the old era, to the paradigm all of us alive have been brought up with and to various degrees gotten used to, is causing fear and anxiety. And clearly this transition needs to take place with lots of turmoil, violence and unrest.

But why exactly?

I’m wondering what we could do, collectively, to make the transition smoother, much more peaceful. Is it possible at all? I know it won’t help those who have died on the Aurora massacre. Or in the Oslo carnage. Or Alphen (Netherlands) shooting in May 2011. Or in the Winnenden (Germany) killings in 2009. Or in the Columbine shooting. And so on.

What I really would like to know from all of you: Is there anything each of us and therewith all of us could do to prevent further outbursts of this raging violence? To prevent us from injuring and killing our fellow-men? Ruining the lives of those who are left behind? Which is not limited to victims of shootings but it would include everything that we just know is not right but fail to make it right up until today. It’s clear this requires a radical overhaul of our current thinking and practices and the solutions are going to be systemic. It’s not just telling people not to carry guns. Or to punish those who do carry one. It’s about changing everything that has led to our non-productive practices. From education to nutrition. From (health-)care to the distribution of our abundance. Since the solution does not involve just an incremental change from where we are now, I’m not looking at our self-proclaimed leaders who have been brought forward by the current system. Both presidential candidates in the US could not demonstrate this more clearly as they carefully avoid mentioning the possibility of banning fire arms from being held by civilians. They feel they have to think about their constituent lobbies in order to get (re-)elected. Furthermore they are as much part of the drama as most of us and can contribute as much to the transition as all of us.

So, really, what is it that you and me can start doing as of today? Help me, please?

Love and Blessings,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

About changing the game

Heya,

In addition to today’s blog: check out this great short film by Charles Eisenstein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZkQv25uEs

In very clear terms he explains why the current game (the money game ) is going to falter, why it will take several more severe crises and what could take its place. I would call this the Human Game and I like his concept of the gift economy. Do watch the video, I highly recommend it!

Love and Blessings,

Geert

They haven’t got a clue…..

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel struggling with the Eurocrisis
German Chancellor Angela Merkel struggling with the Eurocrisis

Yesterday I watched part of the budget discussions in the German Parliament (Bundestag). In various, emotional arguments the different parties presented their differing solutions to the current eurocrisis. They all agreed on one thing: the current government, lead by Angela Merkel, is doing it all wrong. Of course they haven’t got a clue either but at least they can pretend they do as their plans will not be testes in practice. Then there are those who want to cut Europe’s budget and others (European Commission) who actually want to increase it. And let’s not forget the fierce debate about how much power each country should transfer to Brussels. Two days ago I heard a director of the Dutch central bank say what my economics teacher had told me already back in 1976: ‘you young folk need to be financially self-sufficient as it is far from sure that there will be money for you when you want or need to retire.’ The central-bank director literally said that people should pay off their mortgages faster than planned and save more money. Which is interesting in itself of course: reduce your household spending budget dramatically, no matter what, so you may have some money later on (Oh no, I’m not going to talk about where they should store that money. At some to-be-bailed-out-bank?) So money is running out in Europe (and the US) and no one has a clue where the billions in support flowed to.

I trust that you get it: the picture is far from unambiguous and the politicians are trying really hard to come up with a solution. Or better: THE solution for all of us. But given how they tick (not rocking the boat, trying to maintain the status quo, pleasing well established and well organised stakeholders) by definition it’s impossible for them to come up with what the situation requires. They’re too immersed in the game to be able to see what wants to happen. What it doesn’t require is extrapolating best practices from the past as I choose to believe the game is changing. And I mean the nature of it. Radically changing. There’ll be no need for colossal states trying to control everything that goes on within their jurisdiction. In a previous blog, I kinda touched upon this as well (https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/how-politics-help/) The big institutions will crumble and they’ll get help from the inside.  And I’ve mentioned in other blogs as well that this ‘one-for-all’- concept has had its day. What we are going to get is a global society, whose inhabitants share a global consciousness, in freedom. We’re gonna be free individuals who stick together as we’ll finally realise we’re all connected. We’re in this together.  And yes, as we can see: the ride is already bumpy. It would be great if we get to a tipping point in the number of people that are willing to take a step back and look at what wants to happen so that it can be facilitated rather than denied and fought. And it looks that we’re gonna find the way forward together and not contract that part out to our politicians. If we are going to be free, we’d better be prepared to take on the responsibility that belongs to it as well. So in a way, we will get involved in dealing with politics or politicians, as “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato (427-347 BC)” And: Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. Pericles (430 B.C.)” One for the road: What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. Edward Langley, Artist (1928 – 1995).

Oh, and the confusion does not only take place at the political level. More about that next time.

Love and blessings,

 

Geert

 

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

Weird experience – but useful after all!

Heya,

This time I would like to share a really weird experience I had some two weeks ago. I found it weird for it’s almost identical to a scene I described in my novel ‘The Glass Dome'(www.geerthofman.comglass-dome pp 233-238). So what happened and what was the learning I finally took from it?

One night late I rode my bike home after having visited a friend. It’s only a less than 2 mile ride so that usually takes me less than 10 minutes. As I left the main street for a street in a small residential area I saw a bicycle lying on the street. Since this is not a street where cars can drive through my first thought was that some kid had left it lying there before it went inside. So I drove past it and decided to leave it. A bit further on a young man with a bike was standing in the middle of street. Approaching him I asked if all was OK. He said he wasn’t from here and that he was waiting for his cab to show up. I found it a bit weird that he would have a bike with him and then take a cab. As the taxi central was right around the corner I told him to follow me so I could show it to him. As we got there I asked again if he was OK. He said he was fine but had too much to drink at a birthday party. I asked him about the bike lying on the street and wondered if he had anything to do with it. He said he didn’t but that he thought it weird too and asked if we could go check it out. I agreed and together we cycled the 40-50 yards to where the bike was lying. I picked it up and noticed it was quite small, so not for an adult, and that its tires were flat. As I put it against one of the houses a young bloke descended the façade of another house. Of course that didn’t seem quite normal to me and I asked if the bike belonged to him. He asked me if I could show it to him, which I did but when we got there he turned very aggressive at the flick of a second and kicked the wheel of my bike and hit me. He actually dealt a blow to my head and I was flabbergasted. His kicking and hitting didn’t have much power but I was completely surprised by the scene. I stopped to see if I could help in this situation and as a result I get attacked by some youngster! I told him to stop or things could get out of hand. Mind you, I’m 6’6″ (1.95m) weigh a bit over 100 Kg and no it’s not all fat! And I wasn’t frightened. This bloke, weighing 60 kilos, must have been on dope and booze to think he could knock me out. But….he wouldn’t stop. He kept trying to intimidate me and just didn’t want to let go of me. I tried to ride away on my bike but he would pull my jacket or the bike and make me stop. And all the time he would not respond to anything I said but kept shouting orders, repeating them as if they were a mantra to him. I saw no other way out than an escalation of violence resulting in me knocking him unconscious and that is something I didn’t want to. Positive about that. I did lose my patience though at one moment. I put my bike on its stand walked towards the assailant thinking where to hit him. Immediately he backed off and immediately I recalled I didn’t want to do this. So I got back on my bike, tried to drive away and…there he was again: pulling my bike and preventing me from going home. What he was saying had stopped making sense from the beginning but now it was even getting worse. He told me he was with the police, on duty, he would call his colleagues (to which I invited him with all my heart) and he wanted to fine me for 10 or 20 euros. Now, that seemed a way out for me without getting violent. So I asked him if he would let me go if I would give him 20 Euro. 10 or 20 would do it for him he confirmed. And he was calming down. By now his buddy insisted he let go of me which caused him to get infuriated again. I showed him the 20 Euro note which he took and then they started fighting over the action. Not about splitting the loot but somehow his buddy felt it was way wrong. When I got home I started to get infuriated myself. Indeed it felt completely wrong to be attacked after offering help and then to get to pay for that privilege as well. But I managed to control my emotions and I stayed at home, trying to get some sleep.

The next day I tried making sense of what happened as I choose to believe that nothing happens for no reason in our lives and that there’s always something for us to learn. But I couldn’t. Every time I thought back of the events my adrenaline skyrocketed and I wish I could get hold of this guy, probably only to release my frustration. Not very productive at all. But I kept asking myself what wanted to manifest itself through this experience.

Then yesterday, all of a sudden, I thought back of a book that Rao Kolluru once gave me in NYC. And I knew what I had done wrong. The book is called ‘The Ten Spiritual Pillars of Business Success’. You can find more about Rao and his work here: http://www.bioxysource.com. Amongst others Rao tells the story of two brothers who stayed with a guru for some time. One day one of the two brothers, Raj, comes back from having visited the village, covered with bruises. He explained that somebody in the village was badmouthing the guru and that he had taught him a lesson. The guru said that he should have let it pass and have restrained himself. The next day the other brother, Tom, came back with a similar story. And he had let it pass with no intervention from his end. The guru asked him why he hadn’t taught the villain a lesson.

Indeed, it’s a story about the three gunas or qualities as Rao labels them: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. Very short: balance, energy and lethargy. Immediately it became clear to me that I had stayed in Tamas during the situation, where the opponent had been in Rajas and Rajas only. I also remembered a conversation where a gentleman (a Vedic astrologer) had asked me if I wanted to retire early. As there were some indications I like to retreat. Now the experience had started to make sense. What I make of it is that I have been too much in Tamas lately, thinking it was Sattva (and, fair enough it will have been Sattva from time to time as well) But hardly in Rajas and, to be perfectly honest with you guys, that has been showing in my life for quite some time now and has been affecting the business side of things as well. But I couldn’t see it until this weird experience of some two weeks ago made me think of Rao’s story again.  I have started looking for ways to activate Rajas much more (including changing nutritional habits) and to reduce the overly present Tamas (well at least during day time :-)) It will allow me to get out and engage much more with the world than I did and change this attitude of wanting people to come to me (well, they should of course but until know they could see no reason for it. :-))

So after all this showed some great learning that I get to put into practice. Oh and looking back at the experience, I clearly see other ways (using Rajas) that would have ended the situation without having to knock this bloke in a coma. They all involve engaging with him, possibly also on a physical level and although I am aware of the dangers related to that (with all these armed people in the street), I’m even more aware of the dangers of not doing it. And indeed, I do keep on believing that the best way to avoid troubles is to walk away from these situations. But when that is not possible and appeasing doesn’t have any effect it is better to engage.

All love and blessings,

Geert

http://www.geerthofman.com