It takes a village

The “Master Mind” is “two or more people working together in a spirit of cooperation toward a worthy goal.”

Think And Grow Rich suggests that this is the only known way to compensate for a lack of resources or capacity.  I think I agree with that.

If “Step One” is to love yourself, part of this is to give yourself permission to succeed.   Another is to be willing to look deeply at your flaws and failings: if you don’t love yourself, you will fear that if you look too closely, you’ll find something rotten.  Feeling that there is something precious within you gives you the strength to dig through the emotional garbage that arises.  You are NOT the garbage your unconscious can throw at you to stop your progress. But in that case…who are you?  Critical question to answer.

“Step Two” is to love another person.  Our partners are our mirrors.  Grasping that is one of the most valuable things we can do.  We cannot “cheat” here.   A bad relationship is a serious warning: we are seeking a mirror for a damaged level of our ego cocoon.  Heal it and we’ll see that we need to move on.   This can trigger fear: we can feel it is too risky to move on, leave the relationship.   In some cases this is even reasonable, but the result is misery…if we don’t love ourselves.  A woman who remains in a “bad” relationship to protect her children (it happens) can protect her heart if she loves herself, and connects her emotions to her sense of the divine.  This also gives her the strength to move on when it is appropriate.

“Step Three” is to understand human psychology and history without guilt, blame or shame.  If you have been abused, or are a member of a group that has been abused, it is hugely simple to simply conclude that your abuser is evil.  In cases where this leads to positive action, I reserve judgement.  But when it leads to a sense of despair, enveloping resentment, inappropriate violence, hate and crippling depression, you may have floated on the “surface” of understanding.    It is totally natural for the ego to tell you you and yours are “better.”  That is the first urge of a child: my daddy is stronger, my mommy prettier, my dog the best.  Go deeper.

You are more likely to be right if you START with the assumption that people are equal and look to personal or multi-generational circumstances to understand why they behave badly, than to START with the assumption of inequality and make a few exemptions for those individuals you get to know personally.  (“I don’t hate all X’s.   Some of my best friends…”)

The problem can be that if X’s are in conflict with your group, competing for resources, and your group had power, it is likely that your group screwed ‘em over.   Humans are like that.  If you don’t love yourself, looking at that can be painful as hell.

Now, then… “Step Four” is to find your tribe.   You need to form a “Master Mind” of sufficient resource to reach your goal.  People who share your values and intentions.   People who see “the other” as inferior have a problem here: their “Master Mind” will be made up of people who are entirely too much like them. Why?  If you are a racist, for instance, you will not find me sympatico. Further, you and I are not opposites.  The opposite of a racist is not (in this sense) a person who believes in equality. It is a person of the “Other” group who is also a racist.  The person in the opposite position.   Imagine THAT dinner conversation.  Great fun.  

I have the Contrary position: that neither side is better, that we can understand human history and human beings better by looking at the ways the environment controls results MORE than if we start with the assumption that current behaviors are controlled primarily by the essence of the individual.  By the way…neither position can be “proved.”  We can amass evidence, but in general this evidence will just reinforce our starting prejudices.

But I know that I can get along very well indeed with someone of any group who believes in this equality.  And since I start with an assumption that the universe has patterns of growth, change and harmony, the perspectives that lead to greater understanding and connection are closer to Truth.  Again: to believe in any position ultimately requires a measure of Faith.  Why not have faith in a path that leads to harmony, peace, love, growth and healing?    If massive evidence accumulates that this doesn’t work, I’m open to hearing about it.  But so far the entire world makes sense, both in terms of group efforts, history, and individual accomplishment if you assume a positive potential to life.

Whatever you decide, you will need to create a “tribe” of people to support your dreams: allies, mentors, customers, students, co-workers, friends, family.   If you believe the ultimate nature of humans is negative…you are kind of screwed, aren’t you?  You are STARTING with a belief structure that will have a very difficult time leading to health, love, happiness and success.

Here’s the worst case scenario:

In other words, if you are right, we’re going down the tubes.  If you are wrong, YOU are going down the tubes.

If I am wrong, I’m deluded, and going down the tubes.   If I’m right, on the other hand…I can and will accomplish my aims.

In other words, the very worst it can get is a 25% chance of success if you maintain a positive belief about life and humanity.

And at the best?  Far better.   But the person with a negative set of beliefs is going to lose every time, EVEN IF THEY HAVE EXTERNAL SUCCESS.   

We can be damaged in childhood, or by society.   Imprinted with negative emotions that prevent us from long-term planning, sustained action, building healthy relationships, practicing uncomfortable disciplines.   ONLY a sense of self-love, that we are precious and valuable, can help us find and sustain a healthy relationship, allow us to see the unfolding of human history with a loving heart, and find a “tribe” of people who will support us and accept our support in a healthy, positive fashion.

Take your choice, but remember that the decisions you make determine the quality of the life you create.  Don’t you deserve the best?




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