This post is about finding your “unique role” in participating in Humanity’s transition. It is based on my understanding of the nature of the transition, and my on-going process of finding my own unique role,.
Once you understand the state of Humanity and the default trajectory in which our Civilization is heading, you’re likely to react in one of two ways.
One reaction is to decide that the issue is simply SO large and overwhelming, it’s naive/self-aggrandizing/foolish/a waste of a life to try and do anything about it. I get it. You’ll save yourself a whole heap of agony and emotional turmoil with that reaction. But you’re probably going to have to live with a persistent background nagging about the wisdom of that decision. And maybe have to answer questions from your kids or grandkids about it.
The other reaction is to say “OK – what can I do about it?”
Of course, no-one can answer that question for you. The only advice you can hope for is some general principles, or “orienting generalisations”.
The Easy Bit: It Starts With You
If you’ve watched the video about this site on the home page, you’ll recall that I said the purpose of this site is “to help you with your own further unfolding and in determining your own unique role in humanity’s transition“. Those two things are closely connected because your own unfolding is part of your unique role in humanity’s transition. Arguably, the most important part.
That’s the “easy bit”: meaning it’s easy to explain. It’s not easy to do!
What do I mean by unfolding?
Earlier in the video, I talk about the unfolding of Humanity in terms of Consciousness, Culture and Technology. For an individual, what I mean by unfolding is specifically the unfolding of Consciousness. And for the purpose of this article, think of “unfolding of Consciousness” as “personal development”. From what you can learn from the people listed on this site, there are many deep ways to understand that term.
So what I’ve said, in a rather roundabout way, is that personal development is important. This isn’t a nice-to-have personal development, focussed solely on leading a better and more fulfilling life. This is a must-have personal development, as part of our role in humanity’s transition.
The Generalizations: some DOs and DON’Ts
DON’T think in terms of..
- A big or small role
“I must have a big role; I must have a legacy” and “I’m too insignificant to do anything worthwhile” are equally unproductive attitudes.
- Direct cause and effect
“I must do something that has an obvious, direct, and maybe even measurable impact.” See the third “DO” below for the counter-argument.
- One thing
…that you can tack onto your life, and your life mostly goes on exactly as before: “So long as I work on that one thing, I won’t feel guilty.”
- A single Quadrant
DO think in terms of…
- Improving your understanding
… of yourself and your ability to make meaning about the nature and state of the world.
- Improving yourself
… in whatever ways that make sense to you. (This is the same as the unfolding above.)
- Your everyday, apparently inconsequential, actions and decisions
…any one of which could actually have consequential repercussions beyond your imagination, and almost certainly without you knowing about it (think about complex systems / the butterfly effect).
- Getting to the point where you can trust your heart and your intuition
…and you’re grounded enough that your intuition won’t lead you astray – which is a good basis for making any bigger decisions about your role, should you wish to do so.
- ALL the Quadrants
Top-Down vs Bottom-Up
Perhaps you need to face up to the fact that your role may NOT be to formulate the most academically comprehensive Meta-Meta Transformational Framework. And maybe it’s not going to be your role to get a newly empowered and enlightened United Nations to adopt the MMTF as a globally mandatory Resolution. (BTW – that’s a frighteningly dangerous top-down approach which, thankfully, couldn’t happen in principle, let alone in practice.)
But that’s not to say that top-down will never be relevant. Under some circumstances, after the right amount of bottom-up priming, for some folk with political power or influence… top-down can certainly have some role at some points along the way (Universal Basic Income? Banking reform? Some of the political proposals described in Nordic Ideology?).
However, bottom-up activities are going to be much more prevalent, so that’s a good place on which to focus. That means both working with other people in small, manageable groups, and also working on yourself.
Awareness, Strategy & Emotion
Here’s another way of looking at the bottom-up approach and how it relates to your unique role.
Transforming humanity will require a gazillion little steps from each of many millions of us.
Your gazillion steps will be unique to you – defining your unique role.
Maybe some of those steps will be more overt and directly impactful than others – but that’s not the main issue, and in any case, it’s not always going to be obvious whether such impact will be a help or a hindrance over time.
The main issue is that, everything you do is contributing, in one way or another, to Humanity’s trajectory – and remaining aware of that fact is the main issue.
And so, as is so often the case, it boils down to awareness.
Your effect on Humanity’s trajectory will depend on the extent to which you can be STRATEGIC (logical thinking) and EMOTIONALLY ATTUNED (intuitive thinking) in your decision-making for those gazillion steps that define your unique role.
What it means to be strategic and emotionally attuned in this context is something which I believe you will learn by reading, listening to and practising the ideas from the many wonderful people listed on this site.
A personal lesson
It’s clear that I’ve made building this site a large part of what my own role is. And now, when I come to take a wider perspective on this activity, I find that I am the ideal reader of this article that I’ve just written. I get a score of 4/4 on the DON’Ts I listed above.
For me, working on projects, such as this site, which sit in the lower right Quadrant, is the easy part – although my wife would be surprised to hear me say that. The work needed in the other three Quadrants is the challenge. (Of course, other people will find challenges in different combinations of Quadrants.) So the final, most concrete advice I would give the ideal reader of this article is this:
- Think about yourself: what needs fixing with your mind, body or spirit. It’s hard to fix Humanity if you can’t fix yourself.
- Think about your relationships: can you truly feel the unique specialness in those closest to you – and also can you maintain that feeling? Can you extend that to the many millions of people who are indirectly connected to you through the “those closest to you” relationship? It’s hard to fix Humanity if you don’t love Humanity.
- Think about your direct environment: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world” is one of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. There are doubtless many nuanced arguments against that rule, but there’s also an indisputably huge dose of common sense behind it (a Petersen trademark). It’s hard to fix Humanity if you can’t fix your personal environment
I hope that’s been helpful.