Tag Archives: nature

Vision and Mission Statements

Defining who you are and what your purpose is in life helps focus your resources and choices.

Vision and mission statements help define who you are and where you are going.

Vision and mission statements define who you are and where you are going.

Trying to get to sleep my mind had other priorities, I was invited to an unwanted creativity brainstorming event as my mind wanted to know what my vision and mission statements were for my business.

A vision statement is where you want to be in the future.  Amazon has a vision statement as follows:

“Our [Amazon's] vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

A mission statement is a declaration of why you exist, what your purpose is.  Ben and Jerrys has the following mission statement for its products:

“Product Mission: To make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.”

Once my mind was allowed to review my vision statement, my mission statements, motto and values; plus turned my business into a large bird with the head and two wings representing three divisions of my business I was allowed to get to sleep.

Lesson here is that every individual can create a vision statement, mission statement(s), motto, values and a logo to represent your own self and life, to show to the world who you are.  Many animals have evolved colour and shape to display to the world who or what they are, so every human can do the same.

Another lesson is when creativity comes let it have its way and flow through you, by doing so you benefit as I now will from the uninvited brainstorming before sleep last night.

Harmony between self and the universe

The main goal of Liberated Way: harmony between self and the universe.

This Colchester parachutist has to act in harmony with nature otherwise they will crash to their death.

This Colchester parachutist has to act in harmony with nature otherwise they will crash to their death.

It is observable that this universe and everything within it has a nature which determines how it appears and behaves.  It is in the nature of energy to move, thus one observes everything in this universe is in motion.  It is in the nature of a river to provide water to drink, fish to eat, water to clean the self, a route of transport, but it is also in the nature of the river to drown that fool who throws themselves in the river with lead boots on.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus advises that humanity follow the common, which I interpret as follow the nature of the universe.  When self comes into contact with a cobra or a blazing fire it is with respect for it is known that it is the nature of a cobra to bite and a fire to burn, it is the fool who ignores the nature of the cobra or fire who ends up injured or dead. The nature of a cobra to bite and a fire to burn is its common.

In cryptic riddles Heraclitus advises that the common of all things can be determined through observation and reason, one can deduce principles that fire burns, and thus follow good action to wear protective gloves to handle fire without being burnt.

If humanity is a product of this universe it is reasonable to conclude that humanity and this universe holds a nature in common, that is to say if the universe flows so humanity flows.  If it is the nature of energy to flow, then good action would be to adopt a life that also flows.  If all energy flows in this universe and humanity is made of this same energy then to restrict or stop energy flow through control is to be out of alignment with the nature of the universe, to be in conflict with the universe.  To conflict with the common of the universe is asking for trouble.

Only the fool would open their locked door to a loony axeman who wants to chop them up, so why is it that humanity is doing the equivalent by being in conflict with the common of the universe? The equivalent of the loony axeman is entropy, the breakdown and decay of matter into disorder.  Entropy is the metaphorical grim reaper of popular culture, the nature of the universe is to act against entropy in a renewal process, but those that go against the nature of the universe wipe out the renewal process and allows entropy to do its destructive work.

The goal of Liberated Way is to work out the nature of the universe, a set of principles and processes that an individual or group could use to be in harmony with the universe.  Like in my river example it is better to work with the river than against it, since the river can be either life-giving or death-dealing depending on if the self is in harmony or in conflict with the nature of the river.

Truth is Relative

Go beyond the appearance and the behaviour to the nature that underpins everything. 

The truth of being a cat is relative only to this cat.

The truth of being a cat is relative only to this cat.

Recent events got me thinking about what truth is.  I find that nobody has a monopoly on truth, that truth is relative.  Take for example the colour red, I see red as red, the bee sees red as black.  Truth is the product of self, the bee brain makes red black and my brain red as red; truth in this sense is relative to the beholder of the truth.

God.

Take the example of God, some believe in God, some reject God, some like me sit on the fence as agnostics.  Those that believe in God differ on what God is: energy, gravity, a mind, with no mind, in creation, separate from creation.  God is one of those ideas that can neither be disproved or proven with any certainty.  Truth is relative to the beholder.

Nothing is certain.

Truth then to me is never one conclusion, but can be a diversity of conclusions.  Red can be red but can also be black depending on the beholder, thus truth is relative.  It is better to say I believe the truth to be, rather than say this is the truth.  With the universe composed of visible and hidden variables, always changing and in feedback loops nothing can be claimed with any certainty.

Belief.

Since truth is relative it is better to say that I act and think according to a belief rather than a truth, the same for everyone.  When the word belief is mentioned some people choke on it, they believe that the universe is deterministic, that there is only one truth, often the one they believe it to be.  It is apparent neither bee or I have a monopoly on the truth of what the colour red is, we hold different beliefs of the colour red relative to ourselves.

The hubristic need to monopolise belief.

I see no harm in a world holding a diversity of beliefs.  So what if a Native American believes a tree has a spirit, a belief based on animism? Yet to the Christian missionary the Native American is a lost soul to be saved, and to the Atheist the Native American is one to be converted to the progress of modern science.  The outsider has this need to force their own beliefs onto the Native American, resulting in widespread suicide, mental illness, drug abuse and alcoholism amongst the people whose belief systems they obliterated.  The need of some to westernise Islam or Islam to convert the West sets the scene for a so-called clash of civilisations: violence, hate, fear and anger.

Black swans.

Even in my own empirical and inductive approach to truth, I know I can only draw a probability of truth.  I may count 1000 white swans on a lake and conclude the world only has white swans, then one day a black swan appears.  I have to be open to the possibility of black swans, which is a position of humility.

Hubris hates diversity of belief.

The individual or group who claims their truth is the only truth is gripped in hubris.  Truth is relative, there can be many truths. Hubris follows through to control, the individual or group needs and acts to force their belief upon other people who have a different belief of a truth relative to them.  Those inflicted with hubris hate diversity, they only want one truth, that of their own.  The horrors of Nazi Germany, or the Crusades or of Vietnam was because a group of people wanted a world based on their own beliefs with all other beliefs eliminated.

Grounding belief like roots of a tree.

A belief should be grounded like a tree has roots that anchors it into the ground, otherwise it moves into fantasy.  To ground a belief it is to be tested by asking questions, by looking for observable, experiential or demonstrable evidence of its existence.  A belief untested but accepted without question is ignorance, it is opinion.

Follow the common.

When Heraclitus suggests “follow the common”, he means to deal with things based upon their nature: it is common for all ducks to love water; it is common for all energy to flow; it is common for all things to evolve or change through strife.  Heraclitus suggests people go beyond appearances and behaviour to the underlying nature of the universe, and in this one grounds belief in the common of reality rather than in the ignorance of opinion.

Creativity is king

The ultimate purpose of life on earth is to create.

Creativity is king.

Creativity is king.

I watched a wildlife documentary about penguins yesterday on BBC iPlayer called “Penguins – Spy in the Huddle”, a clever infiltration of robotic penguins living up close amongst three species of real penguins around the world with cameras fitted.  My initial thought that this would be a dull documentary turned to curiosity and delight as I watched the journey the penguins took through danger and obstacle; their mating rituals; how the male-female and community cooperated to the moment their young came into the world.  There was the drama of a penguin lost behind; the slap fight between two females over a male; the amorous affections of a lonely male for a robotic penguin before his mate appeared and attacked the robot; the male forcing the female to let go of the egg for him to look after so the female could return to the sea to feed; the cooperation of the penguin community in fighting against the cold or seeing off predators.

Often I compare the natural world to humanity.  The only quality that separates humankind from other animals is imagination: ego is the ability to imagine self separate from the world and other objects; empathy is the ability to imagine the aliveness, feelings and uniqueness in external objects; tool making the ability to imagine connections between a problem and a solution; pro-activity the ability to imagine alternative possibilities to the instinctive reactive ones.  Eliminate imagination and humanity is no different from the rest of the animal and plant kingdom.

These penguins like all of life follow the three purposes of living: to live, to grow, to reproduce.  The first two purposes, live and grow, seems to focus upon the ultimate goal of reproduction; giving an impression that the only purpose of life in plants and animals is to reproduce. I exist only to create reproductions of me.  It was extraordinary the amount of effort, struggle, self-sacrifice and burning need to fight to get to their nesting grounds, find a mate, procreate, nest, defend and nurture their young has been thrown in by these penguins.  It reaches to the extent that salmon self destruct after spawning, and male spiders feed themselves to females just so the young will have energy to sustain them to live, grow then repeat the process again.

Reproduction is creativity, the process leading to procreation is the creative process.  Amongst plants and animals creativity is king.  There is nothing like a happy contented plant or animal that is successfully throwing out copies of itself into the world.  Humanity is no different to plants and animals where they ultimately are fixated on a similar outcome of producing children; however imagination adds additional creative needs for humanity.  Imagination is an extension of creativity, a sort of super-creative process.

Plants and animals focus on babies, but humanity goes beyond babies to poetry, music, architecture, invention and space ships.  There is a hidden agenda here I suspect, for a large aspect of organic life is by design rather than chance.  Why is it so important to life that humanity must have imagination when in fact its downside is turning into a nightmarish path of self-destruction and damage to the planet? As above so below is a principle of the universe, what happens in one part of the universe is likely happening elsewhere.  If a virus takes over cells to send out more of itself into the world, or dandelion seeds head out upon the winds to colonise other places, humanity is perhaps a seed being made ready to be sent out from planet Earth to take its DNA into the cosmos.

If one considers as some scientists do that the Earth is a living organism, then the DNA of Earth is locked into the organic life existing on the planet, operating exactly like a dandelion being made ready to colonise other planets, to send the DNA outwards.  It makes sense for entropy will kill every living thing, so to procreate is to cheat entropy of its prize, to allow life to go on.  One day Earth will die, so to send out DNA to other planets as plants and animals do on its surface allows the Earth a chance to continue to exist beyond its death.  The destructive aspect of imagination is offset by Earth for the possibilities of continued life beyond its ending.

The Earth won’t lose sleep if humanity fails to live up to expectations going extinct.  Left with only bacteria the Earth can over millions of years rebuild a new worthy species.  It seems to me pointless for organic life to exist only for the purposes of creating copies, the idea of another purpose appeals to me, one of a grander scale but a similar process to what exists, to go forth and multiply across the cosmos.  To Earth the code in the DNA is important, the form it takes is not; it won’t matter if Mars is colonised by human-looking forms, or by spiders, or by trees, the fact the DNA gets to Mars to colonise it then follow the live, grow and reproduce process is what matters.

Creativity is king.  As I read through the blogs on WordPress I encounter happy and unhappy people.  The happy people are living a creative process throwing out creative forms into the world, the unhappy people are those whose creativity has been restricted or silenced.  All the processes of life is focused on creativity, either to make babies, or poems or colonise Mars.  Creativity leads to health, happiness and abundance, the reward for following what the Earth and our DNA wants us to do.

The connection with nature

I feel in my encounters with nature a connection with the universe.

Once you get close to wild animals, doors can open and you are never the same again.

Once you get close to wild animals, doors can open and you are never the same again. (Photo source: unknown)

The blogger mike585 of the blog WILDEN MARSH is a photographer and blogger who spends many hours watching and taking quality photographs at his local wildlife haven.  He is a passionate enthusiast who relates his latest encounters with the creatures of the night in his blog post entitled “Strangers in the night, exchanging glances” I asked him how he feels to be so close to these wild animals, and I quote his response:

“Being close to the marsh animals, whether it is during the day or in the dark evenings, is always exciting. I never know what’s going to turn up next, Alex. The truth is that I’m so familiar with the marsh and the tracks I find there; that my mind invents scenarios about what the animals might have been up to last night. I wonder where the badgers go when they leave their setts. Do they run from one place to another? Do they waddle along in a ‘devil may care’, sort of aimless way? Are they driven across the Reserve by their noses, in a stressed hyperactive feeding frenzy, or do they forage close to home? I imagine similar things about the muntjac deer, foxes and otters. I have a strong interest in the animals as individual characters. I know, more or less, how they behave in general, but I find myself drawn further and further into their world. I am there with them, if only for a couple of hours, as they go about their normal business. I like watching the interactions: seeing a muntjac walk by, and a fox crossing its path moments later. I like the see how the fox reacts to a muntjac being so close, and how the muntjac is affected.”

Mike has established a connection with nature through his interaction with the wild creatures of Wilden Marsh.  He has become part of their narrative, drawn into a magical landscape of animal and plant, and I sense in his response his deep connection and love for those animals he photographs.

In my feeding swans or squirrel, or my encounter with the butterfly in my house last night there is a connection, which goes beyond the animal to something else.  When I look into the eyes of the swan, partaking for a brief moment an interaction of touch, communication and shared experience, a door opens to me, the entire universe is shining through that door.  That moment I drink from something huge, deep and alive.  Once you have opened the door, tasted of that moment, you never forget, and then you are drawn in ever deeper into a something that is alive, creative and deep.

What is creativity?

Creativity is the ability to form connections and communicate those connections to others.

Creativity is about making connections and communicating those connections to others.

Creativity is about making connections and communicating those connections to others.

Early this morning I was late for geography class; tried to recruit Little John in Sherwood Forest; dropped a baby; recruited an ancient Greek army.  I was creatively creating scenes in my dreams as I slept.  Human beings are creative beings, it is our imagination that sets us apart from other animals: our ability to make tools; see past and future; to create stories and gods; to imagine we are a superhero; to hope and dream; to have ego; to have empathy with others; to problem solve; to understand the universe; to be proactive than reactive; to see ourselves in the mirror; to change the world and who we are.

We are part of a creative universe

All the universe is creative, it happens we are a pro-active creator rather than a re-active one.  There are degrees of creativity, so we are at the top end of the scale, a single electron at the bottom.  A single electron is a true slave of the universe since it bounces around chaotically as entropy plays tennis with it. Our imagination gives us choice, this free-will to choose the outcomes we desire.  The greater the imagination the greater our creativity and choice, since imagination gives us more options to choose from than say a reactive bee who instinctively follows a narrow range of choices associated with its beehive activities.

Creative imaginations open doors to opportunity

The universe is full of doors of possibility, the creative ability of imagination reveals more of the doors for humanity than any other living creature. On the scale of creative imagination other animals have a certain degree of imagination: magpies, octopuses, elephants and dolphins.  Choice and creativity is co-dependent, the individual who stays upon a regular controlled path will have few possibilities to make creative connections, their lives will be limited and with few choices.  The greater the diversity of experience and openness the individual has in their lives the greater their choices, creativity, success, opportunities and liberty.

Creativity is related to prosperity

Prosperity has a relationship to creativity.  Prosperity comprises of happiness, health and abundance.  There is a reason why elephants in captivity suffer mental health problems and have shorter life spans than their wild counterparts, they are creative beings with imagination, their cages limits their creative expression.  What elephants manifest may be small compared to humanity, but the limitation of it in an elephant is devastating to the health and minds of the animal. Same has been noticed of octopuses who are denied opportunities to solve problems, they become depressed.

Creativity destroys tyranny

It is noticed in children that when given the opportunities to play they are happier and healthier.  It is noticed in entrepreneurs that they can make fortunes through the application of their creative imaginations. A state or society can control a population by suppressing or manipulating its creative imaginations, which leads to enslaved, unhappy, angry, unhealthy, uncaring, mechanical-thinking zombies.  Creative imagination has the capacity to destroy any tyranny, which is why the artists and intellectuals are often murdered in any purges.

Imagination is a blessing and a curse

Our imaginations are both a blessing and a curse.  We imagine and believe ideas about ourselves and the world that are not there.  We imagine we are no good, so we never manifest our true potential.  We believe time exists so we waste resources inventing time machines that will never work.  We believe we can cheat entropy of our deaths and waste our limited lifespan doing so.  We imagine we or our tribe is better than another group, so we go to war with them, attempt to oppress and destroy them.  We believe we are greater than nature and ignorantly mess with genetics and processes without humility or wisdom, then we wonder why we suffer from the consequences.  Our imagination creates separation from the rest of the universe leaving us feeling empty and often in conflict with its processes.  Our imagination creates the illusions of control.  Belief is imagination, belief and opinion, a form of untested knowledge that if untested leads to ignorance and tyranny.  Imagination is the tool that can liberate us and destroy us.

What is creativity?

What is creativity? It is in two parts.  The first is the ability to make connections.  The second is to communicate those connections to others.  Often what people think of as creativity is of something that is created, or in the process of being created; we see it manifested or manifesting in front of us as music, dance or a building, though this is only the communication part of the process.  A mind trap arises when an individual copies something or randomly dumps a pile of bricks upon the ground and calls it art; if there was no connection in the part of the artist before they communicated it as a manifestation then it is an empty intellectual creation.  Art is only living when the artist has formed a connection, they then choose a medium of communication of that connection such as music.

An example in music

Mozart forms connections in his mind; his medium of communication of these connections is through music; he codes the connections as musical notes on paper; the connections come alive when they are played by a cast of musicians hitting, blowing and rubbing objects to make sound.  Unless the musician feels the connections of Mozart as they play his code, then they are merely empty tools of expression.  The difference between a great musician and a standard musician is they can feel the connections of the composer, or feel and add an extra dimension to the music, communicating it then through the tool of their musical instrument.

I end with a video of one of the top TED videos by Ken Robinson on creativity.

Children need boundaries

Childhood anxiety is often the result of poor boundaries that encourage insecurity.

Children need to feel secure to grow.

Children need to feel secure to grow.

One of the great issues children suffer from is anxiety.  This anxiety spawns many symptoms from suicide to bullying.  An industry has been built up to profit from childhood anxiety in the form of therapists to drugs, an industry which would rather the child continue to exist in this anxious state.  Anxiety spins off because of insecurity, and the insecurity is caused by ineffective boundaries, the solution is healthy boundaries.

Children are a resource, like seed in the ground, they are potential, a resource that is still to manifest and flower.  The carer and teacher are the gardeners, and society provides the soil in which these seeds will grow from.  Like everything humanity has poisoned the soil in which these seeds are growing, and the gardeners are less skilled and wise in their ability than former generations.

All children need security if they are to flourish. If the child is anxious they waste energy on dealing with the crisis rather than growing.  The answer is healthy boundaries, which provide protection, opportunities to grow and a structure for the child to build a world view of self and reality.  The current boundaries that the majority of children encounter in the English-speaking world are bad, they fail to provide opportunities to grow, and are so vague that the child has little idea what or where they are.

Protection

Yasmeen Olya makes a good point on how to protect children in her blog post. Anything that makes a child feel insecure leads to anxiety, which pulls away resources that could have been used for growing.  If there are troubles in the family or in the world, the child has no need to know about it.  Protection is age and ability dependent, a child should only come into contact with sex, violence and the problems of society when they are emotionally able to handle it; if they come against anything they are not ready for they suffer anxiety on a crippling level.  Television, video games and internet would be better eliminated or severely limited for most pre-teens.

Opportunities

Children grow if they are given the opportunity to play, experience and do. One of the important opportunities is giving children access to nature.  Nature is a great teacher, it will present children with natural challenges that prepare the child emotionally for the raw world of human society.  Children will encounter sex, death, suffering, violence in nature, as well as the living, nurturing, beauty and nobility that nature provides too. Children can play, swim, dig, climb and create in a social experiential environment.  There are many forms of opportunity beyond nature, and they all provide growing opportunities as longs as they are unstructured and available.  Opportunities need only adults to teach skills and knowledge, but the process or route the child chooses to create and explore should be left to them.  The human body is designed for activity so all opportunities are good if they encourage physical, emotional and intellectual activity in a liberated open way.  See anaturemom.com for what I mean about opportunities.

Structure

To a certain extent children come into the world with no sense of self or reality.  It is through play, doing and experience that the child slowly constructs a world view.  The child automatically borrows a world view from their carers and teachers as a substitute whilst they slowly construct their own.  It is down to the carer and teacher to provide a clear world view for the child which sets the limits which the child works in.  If the boundaries are unclear or invisible the child has no idea who they are or where they are in the world; suddenly the world grows into a large and dangerous place, insecurity sets in and then so does anxiety.  The structure starts off restricted with few choices, but grows as the child grows.

Boundaries that are ability dependent

Whilst age provides a good framework around which to construct boundaries, with greater experience it would be better to construct the boundaries based on ability.  Take for example a highly intelligent child, they will need boundaries that are less restrictive than a normal ability student.  Likewise a child with disabilities need more restrictive boundaries than a normal ability child.

I end with a video of an intelligent child who needed a university rather than normal school to satisfy their intellectual needs.  Though such a child preferred adult company to that of their age group, they still need strong emotional boundaries.