Category: Business & Economics
A worker in one of Europe's largest wireless communication companies showed his manager how to repair an error that was costing the company $30 million per year. A secretary at Grapevine Canyon Ranch proposed a simple change to pull the company's website to the top of search engines. These are just two of many examples in Ideas are Free that highlight the single best resource in a company - those frontline employees who can see those telling little details that escape managers. Based on extensive research with hundreds of companies around the world and in every major field, this practical book shows how to draw the most useful ideas from frontline employees and, in the process, significantly improve the atmosphere - and success quotient - of any organization. Ideas are Free is the definitive book on getting - and applying - business-transforming ideas from frontline employees, and will be required reading for Alan Robinson's televised course on PBS - The Business Channel.
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Historians of the French Revolution used to take for granted what was also obvious to its contemporary observers—that the Revolution was shaped by the radical ideas of the Enlightenment. Yet in recent decades, scholars have argued that the Revolution was brought about by social forces, politics, economics, or culture—almost anything but abstract notions like liberty or equality. In Revolutionary Ideas. one of the world’s leading historians of the Enlightenment restores the Revolution’s intellectual history to its rightful central role. Drawing widely on primary sources, Jonathan Israel shows how the Revolution was set in motion by radical eighteenth-century doctrines, how these ideas divided revolutionary leaders into vehemently opposed ideological blocs, and how these clashes drove the turning points of the Revolution.
In this compelling account, the French Revolution stands once again as a culmination of the emancipatory and democratic ideals of the Enlightenment. That it ended in the Terror represented a betrayal of those ideas—not their fulfillment.
Jonathan Israel is professor of modern history at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (Princeton).
"[A]dvances an erudite and persuasive argument. Israel's categorization of the various revolutionary factions offers fascinating new insights, and his knack for uncovering interesting but neglected individuals and texts is second to none. rich and thought provoking book. It is remarkable and significant."--Rachel Hammersley, Times Literary Supplement
"[C]losely argued. Israel can be understood as a historian in the long liberal tradition stretching back to Madame de Stael, who herself witnessed the revolution and saw it as a story of the betrayal of liberty."--Ruth Scurr, Wall Street Journal
"[W]ith typical boldness Israel invites us to reconceptualise our very idea of the Revolution."--Jeremy Jennings, Standpoint
"Overwhelmingly impressive."--Peter Watson, Times
"[P]acked with details. [Revolutionary Ideas ] is part of Israel's major project to give the Enlightenment, especially the Radical Enlightenment as he calls it, new luster."--NRC Handelsblad
"[M]ajestic."--Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe, Trinidad and Tobago News
"Israel, a professor of modern European history at Princeton, is a world authority on the 18th-century Enlightenment. Here he constructs a bold and brilliantly argued case that the 1789 French Revolution was propelled by the clash of innovative political doctrines that supported or contested Enlightenment values."--Tony Barber, Financial Times
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Jonathan Israel:
Because they're doing the day-to-day work, front-line employees see many problems and opportunities their managers don't. But most organizations fail to realize this potentially extraordinary source of revenue-enhancing ideas. The authors of "IdeasMore Because they're doing the day-to-day work, front-line employees see many problems and opportunities their managers don't. But most organizations fail to realize this potentially extraordinary source of revenue-enhancing ideas. The authors of "Ideas Are Free use real-world examples from their work with hundreds of organizations to show how to exploit the virtually free, perpetually renewable resource of employee ideas. The book explains how sustainable competitive advantages in areas ranging from productivity and responsiveness to cost reduction and quality assurance are only possible with the attention to detail that comes from getting and implementing large numbers of ideas from employees. Subjects include how to make ideas part of everyone's job, how to set up and run an effective process for handling ideas, how to help people come up with more and better ideas, and how a strong flow of ideas can have a profound impact on an organization's culture. LessGet a copy Friends’ Reviews
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Paul rated it it was amazing
almost 3 years ago
In this hyper-competitive and economically uncertain world, there is a free resource for efficiency and money-saving ideas that few companies have accessed. Why not ask your employees for their suggestions to make the company better?
It's not as easy as putting up suggesti. Read full review
Luis Fernando Franco rated it really liked it
about 1 year ago
Un libro verdaderamente transformacional (casi)
El libro es como para cinco estrellas, ya que define muy bien cuales son los beneficios de implementar un Sistema de Gestión de Ideas, deja ver cómo es la cultura organizacional en las empresas que han implementado un sistema. Read full review
Bob Wallner rated it really liked it
almost 3 years ago
Recommends it for: Leaders, Managers, Continuous Improvmement
Recommended to Bob by: Karen Martin via Webinar
HIT CLOSE TO HOME.
I listened to the Audible unabridged audiobook. This book was recommended by Karen Martin during one of her webinars. I respect Ms. Martin and per her suggestion this book did not disappoint.
The concepts hit close to my heart. My company operates 2 ind. Read full review
Ellen rated it liked it
almost 3 years ago
Another book that could have been an article. Idea systems that effectively funnel ideas from front line employees to senior management create competitive advantage-- that's it. However, it was interesting to learn that reward systems designed to incentivize employees to. Read full review
Tori rated it it was amazing
over 8 years ago
Recommends it for: Anyone with a job and an idea.
My father is one of the authors, so I think I may be just a tad biased, however, I really liked it. I actually helped pick out the cover. It's a good book for any manager to read, or any employee. Read it!
Troy Doughty rated it it was amazing
almost 2 years ago
Quick read, really enjoyed the idea of working at the lowest levels for improvement ideas. The people that do the job every day are smarter than you. don't take it personally, use them as a resource.
Lori Grant rated it really liked it
over 3 years ago
A should-read book on creative frameworks in self development for knowledge workers, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs.
Tiff rated it really liked it
almost 8 years ago
Fantastic book, especially for someone in industry.
Examples of idea generation from employees of all levels. And Alan Robinson is a very dynamic and personable man - you can see it in his writing.
Mleriten rated it it was amazing
almost 3 years ago
The philosophe may have laid the egg, but was the bird hatched of a different breed? Maurice Cranston discusses the intellectual origins and development of the French Revolution.
E dmund Burke was one of the first to suggest that the philosophers of the French Enlightenment were somehow responsible for the French Revolution, and his argument was taken up, and elaborated on, by many historians, including Tocqueville and Lord Acton. The philosophes undoubtedly provided the ideas. It may well be that the collapse of the old regime was the consequence of other factors – economic problems, social unrest, conflicting ambitions of groups and individuals – but in the unfolding of the Revolution, what was thought, what was said, and what was advocated, was expressed in terms and categories that came from political theorists of the Enlightenment.
Those theorists were far from sharing the same ideas; but, then, the French Revolution itself was not animated by a single revolutionary programme. Unlike the English and American Revolutions, the French Revolution went through a series of phases, each of which almost amounted to a revolution in itself; and as the Revolutionists repudiated one policy to adopt another, more or less its antithesis, they were able to turn from one philosopher of the Enlightenment, to an alternative, competing or rival theorist from the same stable.
A painting of Montesquieu
The first phase of the French Revolution was the one in which the dominant ideas were those of Montesquieu, notably those expounded in his masterpiece, L'Esprit des lois. first published in 1753. Montesquieu claimed that a liberal constitutional monarchy was the best system of government for a people who prized freedom, on the grounds that by dividing the sovereignty of the nation between several centres of power, it provided a permanent check on any one of them becoming despotic. Montesquieu suggested that the English had achieved this by sharing sovereignty between the Crown, Parliament and the law courts. The French, he suggested, would need, if they were to adopt the same idea, to make use of the estates with which they were themselves already familiar: the Crown, the aristocratic courts, the Church, the landed nobility and the chartered cities.
Montesquieu's project gives a conspicuous share of the sovereignty to the aristocracy – the class to which he himself belonged – both the noblesse de robe in the courts and the noblesse de race on the land. Some of the people most active in the earliest stages of the Revolution were aristocrats, who undoubtedly identified the cause of national freedom with the interests of their own estate. When the French Revolution began, Louis XVI took it to be an enterprise on the part of some of his privileged subjects to do what the Whig nobles of England had done in 1688, and replace an absolute monarch with a constitutional monarch. It was in order to avoid being another James II of England that Louis XVI tried to play the part of another William III.
The comte de Mirabeau, the leading orator among the revolutionists of this early phase, was very much the disciple of Montesquieu in his demand for a constitutional monarchy. On the more abstract level Mirabeau believed that the only way to ensure freedom was to institute a divided sovereignty, but he did not agree with Montesquieu as to which estates in France should have a share in that divided sovereignty. Despite being a nobleman himself, Mirabeau was out of sympathy with most of his peers. Indeed one big difference between the French liberal noblemen who were prominent in the early stages of the French Revolution – Lafayette, Condorcet, Liancourt, Talleyrand, as well as Mirabeau – and the English Whig aristocrats of 1688 is that they did not represent the views of a large section of their own class.
Even before Mirabeau's death in April 1791, Montesquieu's dream of devolving a large share of national sovereignty on to the peerage and the Church had been rendered unrealisable by the attitude of the First, the ecclesiastical, and the Second, or the noble Estates when the Estates-General first met in May 1789. The privileged orders proved more eager to hold on to their privileges than to accede to the powers Montesquieu had wished them to have. Instead it was less privileged groups represented in the Third Estate – the commons – who demanded to share the sovereignty of the nation with the Crown.
N evertheless, while the idea of shared sovereignty continued to inform the struggle for freedom, Montesquieu remained the most important political philosopher of the French Revolution; even those orators and journalists who invoked the name of John Locke as the great theorist of modern freedom did not move far from Montesquieu's conception of things, since Montesquieu saw himself as Locke's successor in the liberal tradition, and modestly claimed only to wish to adapt Locke's general principles to the particular conditions of France.
But there was one element of Locke's thinking that Montesquieu was less attracted to than were the Revolutionists of 1789, and that was Locke's theory of the natural rights of man to life, liberty and property. The French revolutionists made much of this because the American revolutionists had done so in 1776. Lafayette, having taken part in person in the American war of independence, and Condorcet, who had been made an honorary citizen of New Haven, were among those most active in having the French Revolution justify itself to the world and the people, by proclaiming the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen as early as August, 1789. However, as later critics pointed out, a 'declaration' has no force in law, and the proclamation made no material difference to the institutions and procedures by which the constitutional monarchy was governed. The division of sovereignty between the Crown and the legislature was still thought of as the central achievement of the Revolution of 1789.
What put an end to all this was the king's flight to Varennes, which made it fairly obvious that he did not want to share his sovereignty with the legislature; and the failure thereafter of liberal monarchists to patch up the constitution gave a signal to those who had no desire for the people to share sovereignty with the Crown. Thus the theory of divided sovereignty came to be overthrown in favour of the theory of undivided sovereignty; the constitutional monarchy gave way to a republic: Montesquieu, in effect, yielded to Rousseau.
Burke, with remarkable prescience, saw Rousseau as the chief ideologue of the French Revolution as early as 1790; but it was only after the king's flight to Varennes had undermined his liberal reputation that republicanism came to the fore- front of the revolutionary agenda. As Rousseau replaced Montesquieu, his conception of the meaning of liberty replaced that of L'Esprit des lois. Where Montesquieu had understood freedom as being unconstrained and unimpeded in doing what one chooses to do so long as it is lawful, Rousseau defined freedom as ruling oneself, living only under a law which one has oneself enacted. On Rousseau's philosophy of freedom, there was no question of the people dividing and diminishing sovereignty, because the people were to keep sovereignty in their own hands. In Rousseau's conception of a constitution, the nation became sovereign over itself.
T he second phase of the French Revolution can be dated as it is in the revolutionary calendar from September 1792, or Vendemiaire of Year One, to Napoleon's coup d'etat in November 1799, or 19 Brumaire of Year Eight. This is the republican phase, for which Rousseau not only furnished the terminology of revolutionary discourse, but was generally acknowledged to have done so. Unlike Montesquieu, whose name had been cited with the same passionless respect as that of Aristotle or Locke, Rousseau was idolised and venerated. His body was disinterred from its grave in Ermononville, taken in a solemn procession to Paris and placed in the Pantheon.
It is said that not many people had actually read the book called The Social Contract where Rousseau expounded his republican theories, but Rousseau had made his ideas well known in more popular writings and his personality became familiar through his Confessions.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1753, by Maurice Quentin de La Tour
He had contrived to make himself known as the man of the people, one who had not only proclaimed his love of virtue and freedom, but had demonstrated that love in an exemplary life and a constant struggle against oppression. He was the plebeian among philosophers, Jean-Jacques the martyr and champion of the poor; but he also provided arguments which served the purposes of the Terror. For while he said a people could only be free if it ruled itself, Rousseau also said that a man could be forced to be free; he suggested the cult of a civil religion being established in place of Christianity; he authorised the head of the republic to overrule the dictates of private consciences together with the use of state powers to suppress immorality as well as crime.
It would be unfair to Rousseau to say that Robespierre put the theory of The Social Contract into practice, but he used Rousseau's language, and exploited – while distorting – several of Rousseau's ideas in the course of his reign of terror. At all events, the discrediting of Robespierre did not result in the discrediting of Rousseauism. Whereas the departure of Cromwell from the scene had left the English with a lasting hatred of republican government, the execution of Robespierre did not mean that the French had ceased to be republicans. The idea that the nation might be sovereign over itself has never ceased to command a widespread and profound assent in France; and no French king was ever to be secure on his throne after that belief took root in the French national consciousness.
W hen the First French Republic was brought to an end by Napoleon, his coup d'etat did not mark the end of the French Revolution, but only its passage to the third, or imperial, phase. Again he had to look no further for his ideas than to those provided by the French Enlightenment. This time it was the turn of Voltaire, and his doctrine of enlightened absolutism. This theory, like that of Rousseau, kept the sovereignty of' the state undivided, but in Voltaire's case it was not transmitted to the people but kept, without question, in the hands of the monarch.
Voltaire proclaimed himself to be, like Montesquieu, a disciple of the English philosophers, and having visited England at much the same time, he described the English kingdom, in much the same terms, as the homeland of liberty. Again, like Montesquieu, Voltaire named Locke as the prince of English philosophers, and there can be no doubt that he owed much to Locke's inspiration. Voltaire's own Traite sur la tolerance. for example, adds little to the arguments of Locke's Letter for Toleration. But Voltaire did not join Montesquieu in subscribing to the theory of divided sovereignty and constitutional government as set forth in Locke's Two Treatises of Government. Voltaire was far more attracted to the political ideas of another Englishman, Francis Bacon, the philosopher of progress. Although Bacon had died in 1626, Voltaire considered him the most up- to-date of thinkers: one whose message had a kind of actuality and relevance for 18th-century France that exceeded even that of Locke, whose message was mainly a message to the English, who already had experience of parliamentary government which the French had not.
Portrait of Voltaire by Nicolas de Largillière
Voltaire admired Bacon first as a man of science. It was not that Bacon had made any scientific discoveries of his own; he simply proclaimed the doctrine that science can save us. What was distinctive about his approach was his stress on utility. Science, he suggested, was not just an intellectual exercise to give us knowledge, but a practical enterprise to give us mastery over our world. Once men knew how nature worked, they could exploit nature to their advantage, overcome scarcity by scientific innovations in agriculture, overcome disease by scientific research in medicine, and generally improve the life of man by all sorts of developments in technology and industry.
Voltaire thrilled to this vision of progress, and he was no less excited by the programme Bacon sketched out as a means of achieving it. First, the abolition of traditional metaphysics and of idle theological disputes on which scholarship was wasted. Second, the repudiation of old-fashioned legal and political impediments to the efficient organisation of a progressive state. Bacon was frankly in favour of an enlarged royal prerogative at the expense of the rights of the Church, Parliament and the courts. Voltaire approved. Bacon had, in his time, the scheme of fostering the desire of James I to become an absolute monarch so that he himself might enact the role of philosopher at the elbow of a mighty king; Bacon failed, but Voltaire was more than sympathetic to his effort.
Besides, the Baconian plan seemed to him to have a better chance of success in France, because France had had, in Voltaire's opinion, an altogether happy experience of absolute monarchy under the Bourbon kings of the 17th century. One can readily understand Voltaire's admiration for Henri IV; it is less easy to understand his veneration for Louis XIV, the persecutor of Protestants, the oppressor of dissent and the protector of the pious. It has been suggested that Louis XIV appealed to the aesthetic side of Voltaire's imagination, which saw the king as an artist imposing unity on the chaos of society. In any case, Voltaire saw no necessary threat to freedom in the centralisation of royal government. On the contrary, he considered that in French experience the great enemies of liberty were the Church and the institutions controlled by the nobility, including the parlements. By suppressing or emasculating such institutions, a strong central government could enlarge the citizen's liberty; it had done so in the past in France and could do so in the future. He would not accept Montesquieu's doctrine of power checking power to produce freedom through equilibrium. For Voltaire, one single power that can be trusted is needed not to counter-balance, but rather to subdue those other powers which menace freedom.
T he idea of 'philospher-king', of course, dates back at least as far as Plato. In the 18th century, several European monarchs were persuaded by Enlightenment philosophy to try to enact the role, among them, the Empress Catherine of Russia, the Emperor Joseph of Austria, as well as several lesser princes. Frederick of Prussia was the one who approached Voltaire in person, and invited him to join his Court at Potsdam. It was a doomed enterprise. Voltaire found himself unable to control the mind of a king who considered himself a philosopher already, and who wanted no advice, but only praise.
The French kings took no interest whatever in Voltaire's ideas: but Napoleon did. And once Napoleon had seized power, he made the Baconian, or Voltairean, project his own. Napoleon could fairly claim to be something other than a military dictator. He introduced what he thought of as scientific government. He gave his patronage to those intellectuals who saw themselves as the heirs of the Enlightenment: to Destutt de Tracy, Volney, Cabanis and Daunou, exponents of what they called the 'science of ideas.' He furthered the creation of such essentially Baconian institutions as the Polytechnique, the lycees, and the several ecoles normales. He made education a central feature of imperial policy, and he made that education state education.
Assuredly, Napoleon modified the Voltairean theory of enlightened absolutism in directions that Voltaire would not have approved. Napoleon introduced something approaching a democratic element by making his despotism plebiscitary, something which the earlier phases of the French Revolution had made almost inevitable. Voltaire had never cared much for democracy, because he considered the majority of people to be hopelessly unenlightened, but once the people had been brought into the French political arena, Napoleon saw that there was no way of pushing them out. They had only to be persuaded to let themselves be led, and Napoleon, of course, proved something of a genius in doing this. Voltaire, had he lived, might have admired him for this, but he would not have admired, or approved either of Napoleon's re-establishment of the Catholic Church or his military adventures. It was Frederick's wars which did most to alienate Voltaire; and Napoleon's wars would have, pleased him no more; especially as' Napoleon's conquests seemed to diminish rather than increase his attachment to the ideals of science and of freedom.
Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the 15 years of Napoleon's consulate and empire, while rejecting the institutions of the republic, did much to consolidate and perpetuate the institutions which the earlier phases of the Revolution had introduced into France, and which the ideas of the Enlightenment had inspired. Napoleon was not a counter-revolutionary in any sense. Even his restoration of the Church was the introduction of a cult over which he kept control rather than to which he submitted. The only French royal and noble titles that he recognised were those of his own creation. He kept the republican character of his empire, much as the Romans had done in the ancient world.
Indeed the very fact that the Romans had transformed their republic into an empire made it all the easier for Napoleon to do so in France. Once the French revolutionists had rid themselves of their king, they began increasingly to think of themselves as the Romans of the modern world. Their art and architecture, the military organisation of their new army, even the names of civil ranks such as 'consul' and 'senator' were conscious copies of the Roman model. In doing this they did not depart very far from the more modern and democratic ideas of Rousseau; for although Rousseau preferred Sparta to Rome, and believed that freedom could only be realised in a small city state, he, too, was all in favour of reviving Roman ideals in place of Christian ideals, and looked forward to the emergence of a new man in the shape of the citizen-soldier of antiquity reborn.
Rousseau even made the singular prediction that the island of Corsica would one day produce a leader who would astonish the world. That leader owed much of his success, while that success lasted, to adopting the policies of Voltairean enlightened despotism while dressing them all up in republican language and trappings that were inspired by Rousseau; it was not a genuine synthesis, because it took the substance from one and the appearances from the other, but at least it enabled Napoleon to achieve all the popularity he needed in France, so that his regime could only be overthrown by a coalition of foreign governments and armies.The French Revolution: Ideas and Ideologies
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“To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.” – Raymond Williams
There is a war going on right now, as you are reading this.
It is a war that all of us are participating in, whether we know it or not.
And it is a war whose stakes are so high that the very future of our economy, our environment and our children’s lives depend on the outcome.
This battle is a battle for ideas — the beliefs and values that govern how the entire world works. And the only way to join the battle is to question your own assumptions and make sure that what you believe — about yourself, the world, and the connections between the two — fits what you feel in your deepest core. You, me and everyone else who cares about our shared future as a species must do this if we are to thrive ourselves; and ensure our world thrives too. As William Blake said: We “must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.”
Below, I share with you five of most radical ideas any of us can think. They are radical because they challenge the current system and the individuals and organisations that benefit most from it. These ideas fly in the face of five ‘Noble Lies’ (as Plato called them), basic assumptions about who we are and what our role in life is that are the foundation of all modern economics, politics, business, medicine and individual lifestyle aspirations. To embrace the radical, we must first be prepared to give up the comfortable. This can be challenging; a red or the blue pill moment.
What makes it more tricky is that many of the rich and powerful ridicule these five radical ideas, trying instead to sell us all on a ‘rational’ worldview that puts profit and productivity ahead of just about everything else. They have achieved this feat by claiming that the way things are fits the ‘natural’ order of things; that survival of the fittest is a genetic imperative; that the profit motive is elemental and benefits everyone eventually; and that we are all self-interested, rational, utility-optimisers. We — as a race and planet — are now paying for the consequences.
In the words of the great critical thinker Michel Foucault. it is time to ‘excavate’ the foundations of our political, social and economic systems and identify the out-dated assumptions that lie at the heart of them. Then we can, one assumption at a time, discern if they seem to be timeless and true; or false and failing. Are the ideas we run our lives on creating a world of enlightenment, empowerment and enjoyment; or a world of depression, disease and devastation?
I believe that the big 5 myths whose time has come are:1. The myth of the machine: The universe is like a clock. We are cogs within it. We must work and to produce to be of value. If value can’t be measured, it doesn’t really exist. 2. The myth of the self: We are atomic units, discrete individuals, destined to be alone (and lonely) 3. The myth of competition: We are all inherently selfish and naturally competitive, driven by survival to fight tooth and claw for what we feel we need 4. The myth of personal ownership: Whatever we find or make we should own — no matter how much others may need it 5. The myth of growth: We have to constantly accumulate more wealth, and create more value, in a world of unlimited natural resources
These ideas may look innocuous, but they are profoundly dangerous. The work as a nested hierarchy, one scaffolding on the surface of the other, ever upwards towards rampant capitalism, corrupt politics and painful, disconnected lives.
Instead, if we switch on, we can embrace five bold ideas:1. The idea of the organism: The universe is alive, organic, interconnected. We are here to create and express 2. The idea of interdependence: We are profoundly interconnected in ways that we can fathom and ways we cannot. The more we feel the interconnection, the more we thrive 3. The idea of collaboration: We are all as inherently kind and compassionate as we are selfish; and can always work together towards a common purpose 4. The idea of sharing: We can share resources, even if that means we ‘lose’ personally; we can give before we get to create a win win win for all 5. The idea of flourishing: We can conserve our resources and focus instead on personal growth and mutual thriving
These 5 big ideas have not been plucked from thin air — more wishful thinking by an unrealistic optimist. Each is grounded in the latest scientific research into physics, networks, social psychology and animal behaviour. Each has precedent both in the historical record and in tribes and cultures different to our own. Each has been taught for millennia by countless wisdom traditions and indigenous myths. Each has been leveraged for extraordinary impact by the greatest thinkers and leaders of modernity, from Leo Tolstoy to Nelson Mandela. Each is a systemic ‘sweetspot’ — what Buckminster Fuller. the legendary designer and innovator, called a ‘trimtab’ — where a small shift can create disproportionately large change. This is all about cultural, cosmological, metaphysical acupuncture.
If we are willing to surrender the old assumptions and embrace the new ideas — which fit emerging scientific evidence far better, we can change everything that we have created in the ‘real’ world. That includes global warming and child poverty. The Inner Revolution has the power to sweep all before it. Our worst problems can disappear remarkably quickly, as they are simply crystallisations of what we collectively belief.
However, this process is not one that can be carried our purely cognitively, as we will all immediately recognize. Many of the five myths are rooted deep within our minds and bodies, attempting to keep things safe. They are locked in by emotions; emotions designed to protect us from uncertainty and threat.
The Inner Revolution can only happen when we surrender the old beliefs before to they free us to welcome in the new ones. Without a way to unlock the emotional fear that holds our old beliefs in place, we cannot make the transition (which is why so few people have). We certainly won’t be able to stay transformed. Threats to our livelihoods, friendships, autonomy and more are likely to flip us back into the old ways of thinking. We have to switch on and stay switched on.
Reconnecting our heart — to the universe, to spirit — is the best (and possibly only) solvent string enough to dissolve away our stubborn beliefs and the emotions that lock them in. After 20 years of research and practice, I have developed the Breakthrough Biodynamics process to do this (detailed in my book Switch On: Unleash Your Creativity & Thrive with the New Science & Spirit of Breakthrough ). It links spiritual awakening with psychological liberation and, ultimately, social emancipation.
The core of the Inner Revolution has to be spiritual, not political, in nature. As a brilliant historian, Lynn White. wrote in a prescient essay in 1967: “Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not.” We are transforming our understanding of human nature away from a worn out cultural narrative towards a fresh, vibrant one: We get to enjoy knowing ourselves as conscious beings that are intrinsically part of, and inextricably interlinked with, a creative, dynamic, conscious universe. Without this, the revolution may be televised but it will not last.
Rosa Luxemburg. one of the pioneers of socialism, said this: “Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses.” Unfortunately, the Communist movements tried to take an expedient shortcut and miss out the spiritual process — uncontrollable and idiosyncratic as it is — and instead change the people through repression, regulation and re-education. It did not work — could never work — because our indomitable human spirit must be inspired to be liberated; not forced to comply to the will of others. Most governments and social organisations still attempt to change the world using the same crude levers, instead of the messy and marvellous experience of transformation.
The Inner Revolution is not simply an intellectual exercise; cognitive sword-play for the educated elite. Nor is it merely a pretty New Age ideal. Far from it. As we embrace the truth of our existence, we begin to deliver it tangibly in all our actions and creations in the real world. We turn inspiration into action in the form of social enterprises, intentional communities, collaborative consumption, digital and real-world activism, conscious capitalism and scores of other practices and principles that build thrivability over negativity. The Inner Revolution — a politics of judicious hope not cynical despair — is our only chance if we want to stop spending our precious shared resources on things we don’t really need, accelerating injustice and planetary degradation in the process.
This kind of radical self-consciousness — bringing with it the often uncomfortable realization of the complicity of each of our everyday thoughts in the creation and maintenance of a system that, well, sucks for most — is the key to bringing into existence the concrete social justice, environmental sustainability, economic equality and inter-racial peace so many truly hope for.
“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. We must move past indecision to action. The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.” – Martin Luther King
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I see this very differently — there is total emphasis on self, and what one can do using one’s individuality in examining and depending on the technology and materialism of the world. This seems to be an expansion of The New World mentality. Speaking for myself, I have to have a connection with the Creator of everything. I have to accept and depend on Jesus Christ who gives meaning and a purpose for living and dying. The progress of postmodernism is taking away everything that has an eternal meaning and reward for life and death. Atheism is the new religion and the greatest powers want it that way.
I enjoyed your article exploring the underlying myths of old energy thinking and transforming each one into a radical idea:
I would add a 6th radical idea:
The myth of either/or: We have to always choose between two opposites, as only one of them is available to us in this limited realm of duality as our only reality.
The idea of paradox: We can choose to be, experience, and hold in our minds and hearts two opposite ends of a spectrum at the same time, refusing to make a choice for either one, and thus stepping out of duality into oneness, an expanded reality.
Thank you for coming out as a secular spiritual man writing about that experience (on your blog).
Dylan, Your comments are set up backwards, so that the first to comment permanently remains in the first spot. All commentors should have their turn there.
NOTHING will EVER change for Human benefit until We create Our own system of real democracy to relentlessly DEFINE the true will of the mind of Mankind (regarding everything for all to know) and which enables anyone to raise an issue, to give Us the loudest voice in Our own affairs. We could peacefully rule this system from our easy chairs at our convenience. That’s real democracy (Our unity): the banksters’ worst nightmare!
Science has proven that observation is manifestation. When most of Us can observe that We really want the same things (freedom, truth, peace, justice and prosperity), this will (1) reverse the banksters’ destructive competitive paradigm, (2) unite Us and (3) manifest Our true collective will. Anything less will only fuel their NWO nightmare.
The banksters know this universal law and are secretly using it against Us, through fear, to covertly force Us to unwittingly help them manifest (imagineer) their new world order nightmare, by constantly imagineering it. Read “How We Create Reality” at http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/04/06/how-we-create-reality/ or watch the edited version at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhxV51V5ML4&feature=youtu.be to learn how to easily stop supporting these monsters and make life as you like it. And, please, vote for the Real Democracy Petition to End Political Corruption at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Humanity_Start_real_democracy/ .
Good ideas, but we ain’t there yet. First peoples should learns where we is…
“Each is grounded in the latest scientific research into physics, networks, social psychology and animal behaviour. ”
Apart from physics these are the subjects upon which “human as machine” has been derived and promoted. Physics has nothing to say on the subject, unless one is a quantum woo-woo religious believer.
These 5 laudable principles can be derived easily by an unencumbered heart, observation and thought. The sticky point is the first.
The article strays into promoting and “ism” (socialism) and reliance on central government, both useless in the field. No comment on the terrible corporate/oligarch control of world governments.
The world is on the verge of abundance through technological progress (Search Second machine Revolution) but in parallel the oligarchs are seeking to pack and stack dumb and numb populations into cities.
Abundance would lead to a flowering of the 5 ideas.
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