Saturday, December 6, 2008

Beliefs & Values - Pt.1

History of Beliefs and Values
From The Matrix: Revolutions
(Video Duration: 1:10)

As you just saw in the video, Neo was a little angry that the oracle hadn't told him the truth in the beginning, on his very first visit to see her. If you don't remember that scene from the first Matrix film, Neo is believed to be the 'Chosen One' who is destined to free humanity from slavery. When he was brought to the oracle to confirm this, she told him that he had the gift, but was waiting for something. Neo interpreted this to mean, "I'm not the One". As the first Matrix movie unfolds, Neo begins to believe that he just might be capable of the things others believe about him. This continues until he has experienced enough that he no longer doubts his role in the prophecy. As evidenced by this clip from the third Matrix film, he hasn't forgotten what the oracle told him in the beginning. In fact, he has determined in his mind that she lied to him. It was only at the end of this clip that two things happened 1) Neo realized that his old beliefs were what limited him from hearing the deeper truth and 2) that the oracle in fact hadn't lied to him. She simply told him what he could relate to or understand at that time in his life. Even then, he totally missed what she told him!
"The problems we have can not be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them."
- Albert Einstein
If this is correct, what is needed in order to solve our problems? How about another way of thinking. A passage in the Christian Bible reads that Jesus said, "... to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The original texts that make up the New Testament were either penned in Greek or translated from Aramaic into Greek, such as when Jesus spoke. From the verse above (Mat 3:2), the English word 'repent' is taken from the Greek word metanoia, which means to change your way of thinking, or to change your frame of mind. Many believe that the reason Jesus taught in parables was because, for those who didn't have ears to hear, they would only hear a simple story for their level of understanding. In other words, they weren't ready to hear the deeper truth just like Neo wasn't.
So, how do we develop another way of thinking so that we can resolve both long-time and recent problems? 

Ever since we were born, we have been introduced to other people's beliefs, while at the same time being taught (indoctrinated) to respect our elders, teachers, preachers, doctors, and anyone else said to be an authority. This has led us, over literally tens-of-thousands of years, to develop cultures, communities, families, and other social structures based on similarities and differences. When we accept someone else's opinion or 'expertise' simply because they are accepted as an authority, we are also allowing ourselves to blindly follow whatever they tell us. Can you image what happens when this goes on unchecked for lengthy period of time? Just how long is lengthy?
To help answer this question, I would like to introduce the Mayan 9-level pyramid  to help visualize where our beliefs, values, morals, and all other cultural frameworks came from and more importantly, how long they've been among us.
(click to enlarge)
Our sense of community (similarities and differences) can be found in the Tribal Cycle, which began 2 million years ago. These were an evolution of earlier groupings of people having the same or similar 'individual' responses to stimulus from the Familial Cycle some 41 million years ago. An example of this would be if you tossed a banana into a tree full of monkeys. In the earlier stage of evolution (stimulus/response), all the monkeys would display the same reaction, whereas 'individual' responses to stimuli would be when one monkey decided to stay and see what the object was. Eventually, as that shift in consciousness took hold, more and more monkeys would stay back to examine the object, until all the monkeys choosing to stay back would find themselves in a group or community.  So, what is a community of similarities and differences today? How about the place where we live, the church or school we attend, the place we work or our line of business. These also include hobbies, interests and other preferences we have, like our favorite place to shop. You may have also heard the saying, 'Like attracts Like' or 'That resonates with me'. What we consider 'Values' are effectively the dominant beliefs for each group or community. 
Going in the other direction, up the pyramid to the Cultural Cycle, we have 'Reason' or when reasons for things started to develop in our consciousness. For instance, earlier minds could see that some days it rained and other days it didn't. Reason was developed next and as a result, people began to formulate reasons for the rain. You can imagine, in that 102,000-year period, how many of those reasons they came up with would not be accurate by today's understanding. Over thousands of years, many of these 'reasons' have persisted as part of our core belief and value systems of today. This happens by way of familial and institutional indoctrination, traditions, folklore, etc. 
As groups or communities grew in size, the next shift to the National Cycle brought it's influence on Law. In order for cultures to evolve or even survive, certain 'laws' were needed. The Ten Commandments of the Christian Bible are a good example of this. For their day, the ten commandments served as a form of law regulating social behavior to help minimize problems. Those have been around now for thousands of years and still serve as a form of governance for those within that group or community of believers. In the same manner, our so-called modern legal-system of today is built upon the same idea that laws are needed to govern the outward actions of humanity rather than addressing the source of the problems. 

From Bridge to Terabithia
(Video Duration: 00:53)

While on the surface, anything meant to help minimize problems would sound like a good idea, but these were laws established to govern the outward actions of the people, not their inward thoughts and beliefs - which actually determined their outward actions and behavior. Therefore, when someone was found to break one of the commandments, they were punished accordingly. This lead to fear within both the individual and the group. When the rest of the group was punished for one person's disobedience, that person was blamed and this lead to guilt and shame, if not additional punishment by their peers. It's no wonder Jesus was telling people to change their way of thinking! These ideas and beliefs have continued for thousands of years and set the stage for what came next in the Planetary Cycle.
Power and control of the Planetary Cycle was the next level of evolution. Manipulating one's environment, methods of indoctrination and what people believed, were found to be great sources of power and control. More than ever before, people became resources for those in positions of authority and places of power. People, places and things quickly became expendable. Our decisions, beliefs and values thus served to enrich and support existing systems and those who controlled those systems.
The next level of the pyramid is the Galactic Cycle, which is where we currently are today. The energy of this level could be called Ethics. Previous tools for indoctrination are quickly becoming ineffective, as the time for unchecked abuse of power is over and ethics are being installed at all levels of consciousness to prepare the way for the next level.
A "new ethic" for the Auto Industry
(Video Duration: 1:56)
The final level is the Universal Cycle, where a sense of unity, balance, and harmony will come into focus. No longer feeling the need for separation, humanity will come closer to being one with their environment and those around them.
With each of these shifts, consciousness is elevated to a new level. New ideas are suddenly birthed and people begin to see alternatives that they never considered before. Old ways of influencing another person's thoughts, and therefore behavior, loose strength. All the beliefs and values which were rooted in the lower levels of the cosmic pyramid will either evolve to help us or they will be discarded. Each of these shifts happens at a prescribed time, not by chance, and this 'schedule' is what the Mayan Calendar is tracking.

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