Leading Edge International Research Group
Probing Experiential Reality With Large Scale Systems Research and Analysis - Since 1988
Observations: Static Cultural Reality Models Transitional Materials: Moving Beyond The Game Exploring Larger Reality And Experiential Context
Welcome to the Leading Edge International Research Group website, which has had quite a varied history and evolution over the years since it began in 1998 (See internet archives). For more than 28 years, we have conducted explorations and analyses of experiential reality at various levels and have published books (primarily the Matrix book series (the meme 'Matrix' began with us in 1987) and the Leading Edge International Research Journal (150 months) which detailed ongoing findings. The production of various books began in 1988 with "The Matrix: Understanding Planetary Power Structures", followed by other volumes over the years that were the result of the examination of various major experiential dynamics in civilization, taking into consideration what had been discovered previously. From 1988 to 1998, all of our research was consolidated into these books and publications, which were available to researchers worldwide. From 1999 on, there was a focus on the nature of higher reality (Matrix 5 series) through the use of out-of-body experience on an advanced level. We stopped publishing books in 2011, and our focus then turned exclusively to managing the PC-based Leading Edge Research Journal Online (below) which began in 2006 as a conceptually expanded online reincarnation of the LE Research Journal, as well as the continued exploration of higher dynamics of the context of our existence. Feeling the need for a comprehensive and reliable news source? We have had a long-standing reputation for some of the best news and information relational analysis on the planet, described below. Aren't you tired of substandard websites done by myopic people who don't even have an accurate context of their own existence? Give it a whirl. Thank you for visiting - Val
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"I've wanted to sign up for the online LEIRG for while, so I was quick to take advantage of this current "open enrollment" period. I'm very familiar with your work, as I picked up the Matrix series years ago. The caliber of your research is impressive and I've always found your analyses timely, educational (but sometimes shocking), inspirational and fascinating ..."
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The Leading Edge International Research Journal Online: If you have a PC, this is the ultimate way to stay informed about what is happening. Typically more than 1500+ news articles, videos and other items from 120+ sources are reviewed daily, allowing the selection and, after analysis and relational aggregation, presentation of the most informative, relevant ongoing distillation which reflects significant changes in different areas (see left) which encompass all the changing dynamics on and off the planet. (See Examples of Article Convention and Style). Furthermore, it embodies 'relational analysis'of ongoing dynamics which uncovers latent information and info relationships not usually realized. Having a eidetic memory for events and a creative drive to do this makes the website indispensable. We would enjoy your support.
• For almost a decade, The LE Journal Online has been the best evaluative tool available for the 'observer', one who is a non-participant in events but takes notes and evaluates, who wishes to look much deeper at developing events and situations in order to see the roots of ongoing issues and dynamics. Articles are viewable through the Printfriendly® proxy, which largely eliminates ads, cookies and unnecessary bells and whistles, and has options to enlarge text size for those who need help reading, as well as printing, creating a PDF or emailing the article, making the experience safer and the time more productive. Extensive archives provide the opportunity for subscribers to do deeper research.
• In addition, we present in the Leading Edge Research Journal Online a summary of existential perspectives with reference to the Endgame period and a larger contextual perspective, so that situations, news stories and events can be viewed from the most accurate and expansive perspective possible, making things understandable in ways you may have never imagined before. Try it. You'll like it. It's the best one-stop shop where you can discover your own nature, the nature of reality and keep tabs on what's happening.
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A Few Comments: Not everyone takes time to give feedback, but some do. Most recent on top (below)
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"One of the few sane voices in a wilderness of howling idiots".
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"I have enjoyed the your fantastic journal daily. I consider it my go to site for necessary important information about what is truly going on in the world and what and who is really behind it all, and the complete picture. End game seems to be getting stranger and more interesting by the day. I must stay upon things as they unfold. Thank you for keeping me truly informed. I appreciate it immensely.
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"I frequent many pages on the web but the Leading Edge Journal leaves my usual "go to" sites in the dust."
“It's like I’ve hit the accelerator button on information. It's nice to see the many different sides to what's going on at the present time. Also the astrological considerations are a great read."
You're doing a sterling job plucking "readable material out of the morass that is going on". In the last 4/5 years it's been getting increasingly difficult to find anything remotely readable, never mind truly interesting. The information gatekeepers are working overtime!"
"I just wanted to express my appreciation for the effort you put into this service; it definitely cuts down on the amount of time I spend to get my news and I have to confess that I am better informed than I was previous to reading the online journal. The best part, of course, are your comments! It's nice to have your advanced perspective."
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"I have never seen a site with this much information from all over the world. I think you've done a top notch job Val, really. Although it was my first time I saw info on topics I never found before and as I get used to browsing around it'll be my morning coffee site of choice. And I will talk to a couple people about what you offer after I can get the bigger picture and send them your way. Really great work."
"Thank you for your hard work, consistency and patience to keep us informed."
The LEIRJ just keeps getting better and better, now that I've found another job until the crash it is real easy to catch up on the latest, scanning through the journal. The information is easy to find and the dates are highlighted as to remember the last visit. To me, it's worth more than it costs. Val does an excellent job finding the best data related to EndGame."
Afterlife - Take Me Inside
Transitional Materials for Those Moving Beyond The Game
This is essentially what we have discovered, after decades, when all is said and done:
Four Basic Universal Principles
Allowance, Attraction, Intention & Balance
Introductory Primer Based On Advanced Experiential Knowledge and Observations
by Val Valerian
'Who' Are You? What is Your Nature? Why Are You Here?
What is Your Unique Path? What Does It All Really Mean?
The Real Matrix: Above and Beyond
Introduction to Matrix 5: Quest Of The Spirit - The Ultimate Frontier, by Val Valerian
"As you pursue the nature of reality you will find that there are fewer and fewer
people that you can talk to. And the more you advance, the more you will be tested."
Experience Outside The Physical Body: Toward Our Natural State of Being
The ability and experience of this nature is not something everyone can do, or be successful with
, unless it happens to be part of your existing path and incarnational experience. Everyone has
incarnations which are involved with this, at one time or another in our experience.
The works of these authors will give you and starting point, if this is part of your path:
Works of Robert Monroe
"Journeys Out of the Body", " Far Journeys", " Ultimate Journey"
Works of William Buhlman
"Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel"
Works of Robert Peterson
"Lessons Out of the Body: A Journal of Spiritual Growth and Out-of-Body Travel" ,
and "Out-of-Body Experiences: How to Have Them and What to Expect"
Works of Jurgen Ziewe
""Multidimensional Man: Astral Travel And Life After Death" ,
and "Vistas of Infinity - How to Enjoy Life When You Are Dead"
Consider that among the authors above, Monroe had an accurate grasp of the context,
although not as much as we know today with the publication of the Matrix V project.
Exploring Larger Realities & Context: The Matrix V Project
The Matrix 5 Project, underway for 16 years, embodies a collection of the most advanced material we have realized after a 28 year period of investigation and research geared toward peeling back the layers of reality, in order to acquire an accurate context relative to our existence and experience -- something that cannot be done on that scale from within the frame of reference, but outside of it. By definition it would not be something that most would understand, coming from a strictly cultural perspective. The material is NOT written for the general public, but for those with advanced thought patterns and interests who resonate along those lines. It details understandings about the actual existential context in which all beings exist and have their experiences, and has produced a continuing commentary with an ever-increasing knowledge base resulting from experiential observations, not from non-experiential belief systems, using a time-tested dynamic of exploration (out of body travel) shared by many people who have those abilities.
The material was always meant for those with very advanced incarnational perspectives which not only take into account the larger reality we live in, but the why and how of it all, based on experiential activities of a very high order over a period of time. The first three volumes of the Matrix 5 project were available in print until 2011: Matrix V Quest of the Spirit - The Ultimate Frontier, 3rd (Gold) Edition, 2003; Matrix V Gold Edition Volume Two, The Graduation Key, 2004, and Matrix V Gold Edition Volume Three, The Journey, 2005, and these comprised the initial three- volume 1,163 page Matrix V Trilogy, which contained 606 descriptive segments of material and 560 Questions and Answers about the material, written by an Author who underwent 12 years of shaman training, went to the Monroe Institute, and has achieved a vast amount of very very unique first hand observational experience which far exceeds the norm. He relates the nature of the larger context of reality and the nature of what all individuals (and the planet) are going through at this time. It eventually turned out that the implications of the project far exceeded anything that anyone could ever have imagined.
The main thrust and examination of the original Matrix V Trilogy was an examination of the nature of the Higher Self, and incarnational 3rd density experience. In 2005, after publication of the third volume, segments continued online and constituted the start of Matrix 5 Volume 4 "Endgame", which covered 9 years, from Sept 2005 to January 2014. After about a year break (everything in the final analysis boils down to a matter of 'timing'), more segments began to be written, corresponding an urging from a higher level, and Matrix 5 Volume 5, "The Gathering", began in March 2015 and is currently in progress. Click on the link from time to time to check for new segments or Q&A. If you are a subscriber to Leading Edge Journal Online, the date of the last segment or Q&A is visible in the Matrix 5 panel.
A summary, with select segments from the first three printed volumes, is on the LE Online Journal and explains the perspective, terms and definitions, and then perhaps what is discussed in the later online volumes will make more sense conceptually. Here is a feature from an earlier time that features a different excerpt from Matrix V:Quest Of The Spirit - The Ultimate Fronter, for every day of the month. A good daily reminder of the reality behind your daily experiences.
A Few Points To Keep in Mind At This Point:
Remember: "In observer status, you do not move against the Game, but you most definitely can point out the Game's mechanics to other interested observers. Share what you see. Remember, you don't escape by fighting the Game, but by removing yourself from it. Remember what the word 'observer' means - a non-participant in events, but someone who takes note and evaluates." -M5V1
"The focus on external power giveaways is important to the Game. You must give your power away to appease the Game. As long as your power is given away, you cannot discover who you really are."
"Your Higher Self allows freedom of choice here as learning experiences. You won't make a choice that will cancel any experience that your Higher Self requires, but there is plenty of latitude in 'other' experiences. The more Advanced you become is due to how you handled decisions for your incarnation. You WILL, for example, have to experience being BOTH polarities. Without those experiences, you won't appreciate Balance."
"Balance OBSERVES the Game and points out interesting facets of it, but does not call for actions against it."
"The Law of Allowance says that Light-siders must be free to be what they are, just as are Dark-siders. This is part of the Game. Light-siders do not follow this law and neither do Dark-siders. This is a law with Balance at its root and Balance is what BOTH polarities dislike. There is no right or wrong, just different experience, BUT the best choices are made with greater information, so you are less likely to be suckered in. As with everything else, by the time you reach VERY Advanced stages, things will be made clearer to you. "
Observations on Static Cultural Reality Models
by Denise Breton and Christopher Largent
Authors of The Paradigm Conspiracy 1988
The Control Paradigm Posing as a "Philosophy"
The dumbing down - becoming less than who we are - brings us face to face with one of the control paradigm's most powerful devices for achieving control. The control paradigm presents itself as a "philosophy", as if it's innocently telling us what's what. It even insists that its mechanistic, materialistic, control-measured picture of reality depicts the "real world" and tells us how to be practical in the world of facts and things, dogs eating dogs and sharks eating whatever. The more our reality can be reduced to objects, this "philosophy" tells us, and the less we trouble ourselves with ideas, values and other intangibles, the more we understand the "realities" of the control universe. Adopting this philosophy as "the most practical way to maximize our personal sphere of control", we don't notice that we're made controllable in the process. To "buy into" the "philosophy" is to become controllable by its "values" of external rewards and suggested into a view of ourselves that is not true to our nature and potential as True Human Beings. But, the control paradigm isn't philosophy. It doesn't encourage free thought or dialogue. It doesn't develop our minds or souls. It doesn't invite inquiry into its core assumptions, strategies, responses and goals. Instead, it functions as a mind-control trance. The control paradigm comes across as "the one way" to experience reality, and it doesn't make room for alternative perspectives. To do so would go against the control agenda. As a result, the control paradigm in truth has little in common with philosophy and much in common with propaganda and mind control methods - trance inducers.
The Reason Closed Social Systems Don't Work
Responding to the need for balance in society doesn't work using closed-system thought patterns, because the nature of the game:
Maintains a toxic order: First, if the system equilibrium is already toxic, it gets reinforced. Bad "norms" are simply perpetuated, since closed systems "run on automatic". They don't have the power of discernment. They don't evaluate systems in light of personal needs, human evolution or planetary health. Their one mandate is to "preserve the established order", even if that "order" is toxic for the people and planet.
Puts systems above people: Achieving "social order" through closed-system methods put systems above people - system needs over personal needs. Systems come first. That's the message we hear in social systems, namely, preserving systems is more important than nurturing people. Closed systems say to people, "You are part of us, therefore we own you. Who you are is incidental. You must perform the roles we assign you in the ways we require. We won't allow you to deviate. If you changed, we'd have to change, and that we won't allow. Our 'social order' would collapse". Putting the rigid structure of social systems first costs all of us. People get "chewed up" by systems. The idea of "sacrificing ourselves for the greater good" may be a laudable idea if the greater is good. But, what if it isn't?
Features Control and Abuse: Closed social systems don't work because they keep order through control - force, punishment, and other power-over methods of enforcement. But, can social harmony be forced? Is top-down control the way to achieve "social order"? Threats and intimidation cannot be the fabric of healthy social systems. They do too much violence to our inner lives, costing us our freedom. How healthy can our social system be if the people are psychological wreaks? When we are deprived of out essential powers as free, creative beings, our social systems reflect our emptiness. When do we get in return for "submission"? Not security. Being one-down in a control hierarchy isn't a secure place. When people get deprived of freedom and security while at the same time they are bound by control systems, they behave like caged animals. Intelligent beings don't do well in cages.
The Nature of Reality isn't closed: Another reason closed social systems don't bring social order is that reality itself isn't a closed system. The old scientific belief systems such as closed-entropy energy systems, also used to reinforce closed-system social control patterns, are rapidly becoming transparently false as scientific research has shown over the last few decades. No matter how much closed systems try to control variables and shut out change, reality won't be shut out. We can't make our social units into "islands of no-change", because the greater reality (the context on which our systems depend) is dynamic.
Paradigm Cloaking Devices - Paradigm Protective Dynamics
The best way to make our paradigm "armor" invulnerable is to make it invisible. What can't be detected by the population can't be shot down. When invisible, our paradigms avoid the risk of attack. We hide our paradigm's filtering processes under acceptable cloaking devices - and many such covers will do the trick.
Staying Within A Group
One way to make paradigm filters invisible is to surround ourselves with people who share our set. We align ourselves with groups who take the same paradigm for granted. Surrounded by people whose filters are familiar, ours blend in. Paradigm filters stay invisible, and we ask "What filters?" and "What paradigm?" Everyone shares the same agenda of keeping the paradigm filters unchanged. When paradigm issues do manage to surface, it's to reinforce how "successful" and "right" the group's paradigm is. The official lines get repeated and the catchphrases echoed. Those who question the paradigm and don't speak its "language" are out. It is because of this that cliques permeate paradigm-rigid societies, with each group accusing the other of being "cultish". Paradigm dynamics, or dogmatics of each group resemble what goes on in mainline churches, corporations, schools, universities, governments, labor unions and non-profit organizations. The strategy of keeping filters invisible under the cover of a group-shared paradigm turns out not to be considered aberrational behavior, but the "required norm". When Groups Support Growth - There are groups that support growth and evolution, and group-shared paradigms can be useful if they are exploring these areas involving full potential. Working with people of like mind takes us forward by leaps and bounds. As we work with others in this way, developments emerge greater than any one person could produce. Whether group involvement supports "filter evolution" or "filter fixedness", therefore, is a matter of paradigm development.
Compartmentalization of Paradigm Filters
Mechanism: Another way to keep paradigms invisible is to split our lives into compartments and to design paradigm filters for each "box". When we are convinced to split our perceptive world into separate pieces, we protect the paradigm filters we use for each piece. In a fixed area, certain paradigm filters don't apply, and we don't mix them with filters we use for a different box. That way, we never have to ask how it all adds up; it just doesn't, and no one expects it to add up.
Social Result: Lack of Consistency. We don't ask whether the values we use at work are the values we'd like our children to live at home. If we adhere to one religion or belief, we don't want to hear about the views of another. By putting walls between our filters, we protect our overall filter arrangement. We avoid filter comparisons which would inevitably bring our paradigm out into the open and subject it to revision. Some of the greatest leaps in knowledge and art - cultural paradigms - occurred when two or more societies interacted. Control paradigm isolation of societies prevents these leaps. Box-category thinking, valuable as it is for producing specialized knowledge, prevents this type of exchange. It forbids us even to attempt to integrate our filters with wider contexts - a process which paradigm evolution demands. "There's no overall paradigm", we tell ourselves, which means our cultural paradigm stays "offstage", invisible.
Openness and Objectivity Issues
Another way to keep paradigm filters hidden is to "appear to be filter-free", as if "we have no paradigm, no filters, and no covers for them either. For decades, scientists and social engineers hid filters behind claims of objectivity, pretending to be "unbiased observers". Claiming to be "open" and "skeptical", while rigidly adhering to paradigm dynamics, are other ways of hiding paradigms we're not keen to question. Sometimes, claiming to be "open" is used as a strategy to make us appear paradigm-free, which guarantees that neither we nor anyone else has a chance to look at our filters. By appearing to be "big-minded", we keep our paradigm close to the chest and off limits.
Use of Covers to Block Paradigm Awareness
If we are to evolve, we need to know what paradigm we're using, so we can change it. Defensive covers block this awareness. How far are people willing to go to protect their paradigm? History shows that people will kill to protect what they "believe" to be the case. Changing paradigms, ways of thinking and perceiving the universe based on new information, can be scary for some people. No wonder the strategies for keeping paradigms in place are more developed than strategies for changing them.
Use of Social Taboos to Block Paradigm Awareness
One of the most potent paradigm cloaking devices individuals and societies have is the taboo. A taboo prevents the questions we dare not raise, the things we dare not do, and the ways we dare not think. When members of a society obey taboos, they pretend that aspects of their lives do not exist. Problems are not problems, and obvious sources of trouble remain off-limits for discussion, and people are manipulated into not speaking of them. People let the social system throw walls of silence around them, so the system is not threatened by hearing the truth about what we're experiencing. Most current social systems on the planet are maintained in a status quo state in this way.
Taboos About Sex - The actual function of the taboo on sexual matters in Western countries, which paradoxically exists at the same time as the maintenance of a strong focus on sexual matters, is to supplement and increase the focus on sexual matters in society. The same principles holds for gender-specific taboos, which also have the function of suppressing different factors relating to wholeness of being and expression. Many of these taboos have the function of introducing the socially complicating factors of "guilt" and "shame", and are also included in some religious paradigms.
Taboos About Feelings - There is also another taboo which exists that makes feelings off-limits in some social system. People are programming "to be in control" of emotions. Even the words "emotion" and "emotional" are cast in negative connotations, and are often used to discredit a persons viewpoint. In fact, the process of socially programming the factoring-out of emotions is highly convenient for control paradigm systems, because if we cut ourselves off from how we feel under a situation of domination, we tend to "tolerate" it more readily, and we are programmed to disregard the pain when we witness control-system abuse to others. Control system abuse is seen on television 24 hours a day and termed "entertainment", which goes to show how deeply some paradigm elements are buried. Another phenomenon that arises is that the control paradigm feeds people with rationalizations, judgments and the ultimate ultimatum: "Things must be done this way or chaos will follow".
Science Taboos - Many of the social control taboos in our society have in fact been inherited from science - what's "real" and what is not, what we can "talk about intelligently" and what is considered "superstitious" or "pseudo-science". In general, the rule is this - "if you can measure something, manipulate it, predict its function and then replicate it (control the outcome of experiments on it) - "it's scientific and real; if not, it's imagination or illusion." People are programmed to accept this approach to science because it reinforces the idea of control over the environment. Unfortunately, this strategy reduces the idea of "knowledge" down to a matter of "control". We are led to believe that "knowing something" means being able to "control" it -- which is the control-paradigm epistemology. We are led to grant science this "authority" and we are programmed not to question it, even if it stands in the face of mountains of observed (but not reproducible, and therefore "anecdotal") evidence.
Science Taboos - The Wider Impact
Defining knowledge in terms of control raises questions. What kind of "control" does science give us? Control paradigm science inevitably disregards wider contexts, because wider contexts aren't easily "controlled". To "gain control", scientists "eliminate variables" and "constrict the field". In fact, scientists learn early in their programmed training to think in narrowly focused ways and to disregard broader contexts, thus, the most defensible Ph.D. thesis is the most specialized one. A result of this process is that using narrowed control thought processes, we find ourselves faced with wider-context problems. For example, we are stuck with nuclear waste with a half-life of 500,000 years and clouds of acid rain that kill forests. If the same money went into researching new evolutionary technologies, as the impression was given to the public in the early 1970's that it "would be", we wouldn't have the problems we have today. But, a public programmed to think along the same lines has simply ignored this simple idea.
Science Taboos - Ethics and Values
A very important point to make is that the taboos that insulate control-science from its impact on society also hide its values. The directions that science and technology take involve decisions based on values - control values. Nonetheless, taboos place science above ethics. In other words, control-science taboos hide its decision-making process and the values that guide them. These values and decisions affect the course of science. The fact that some scientific research gets screened out while other research receives both funding and publication is attributed to "the natural course of scientific development", as if there is no paradigm-based filtering going on. In fact, "there's a whole lot of filtering going on". Various "experts" dominate each field of "inquiry" and also dominate the direction and "limits" of research. They give their "positions" at "conferences", where "reputations" may be "made" or "broken", and they edit the journals. Even more telling is the funding of research by industry. There is an unspoken but real incentive to present projects that support the agenda of work being done in various industries. Combinations of industrial, academic, and political interests influence, and even control, what should otherwise be open scientific research, in many cases research that could potentially save lives. The cancer and AIDS industries are good examples.
Life in a Paradigm Controlled by External Reward Systems
In a paradigm of externals, externals call the shots. Instead of allowing us to be guided from the inside out (a formula for anarchy, the control paradigm claims), the paradigm controls our behavior through rewards and punishments. We come to think and act like Pavlov's dog, salivating over the next bonus, a bigger kennel to call home, a fancier collar to sport, or a top dog position. The paradigm isn't about developing our talents, abilities, or potential; it's about making us controllable by giving or withholding external rewards. To achieve this control, the paradigm grades each "thing" in a hierarchy of externals. The inner life means nothing compared to the outward characteristics indicated by our species, race, gender, age, status, group affiliation, and income. If dogs possessed the wealth of Bill Gates, for instance, they wouldn't suffer in medical experiments, just as people who have money don't work in sweatshops or sell their children into slavery. That's the problem with externals: they're fine until they become the means for enslavement, which unfortunately they do almost immediately. When a paradigm puts external values first, consciousness dimensions are dismissed out of hand. Small wonder that the potentials of our minds and hearts-and all the values that go with them, e.g., meaning, compassion, justice, or wisdom-go undeveloped. A control paradigm has neither use nor place for them.
Closed Social External Control-Based Paradigms Don't Like Discussing This
Naming paradigms and their power for good or ill isn't a new insight; it's as old as philosophy. It is, however, an overlooked insight in an age that can't seem to shake a materialistic, control-obsessed paradigm-and for good reason. Reflecting on paradigms is the stuff of change, and changing paradigms is the most fundamental and powerful change we can make. To a paradigm of control, that's not welcome. The sum total of our experience contingent on something as invisible and changeable as a philosophy? Change by paradigm shifts, which anyone can make? Powers of perception and creativity that defy rigid material boundaries? Humans as beings of immense powers and abilities? Once you let these cats out of the bag, there's no telling what mindsets and institutions might be made obsolete. Obsolete is precisely what established institutions of power and control don't want to be. They learned from the fate of carriage and buggy whip manufacturers when cars came along. Established interests now make sure that questioning the neanderthal paradigm of burning things for energy triggers "War-of-the-Worlds" panic about destabilizing the world economy. Even the call for improved public transit systems borders on subversive. Stiff challenges face a paradigm shift on the simple level of out-there technology, frozen at a stage that Captain Picard sometimes finds among the more primitive human civilizations he encounters. What challenges might we face if we embark on a far deeper level of questioning-on redrawing the paradigms that sort out who we are and why we're here? Plenty. If the cultural paradigm's purpose is not to honor human potential but rather to make it an obedient servant to existing social structures, then nothing could be more threatening to the established order than a paradigm shift regarding our self-conceptions. We fit into society as it is now only as long as we don't remember that we're more and here for more.
Examples of Control Paradigm Lack of Interest in Developing Human Potential
The agenda for traditional psychoanalytic therapy, for instance, isn't to develop human potential; it's to keep people functional in established social structures, however miserable their lives may be and however abusive or wrong-headed the social structures. "Well-adjusted" becomes a synonym for mental health. But if someone is well-adjusted to being an SS officer in Nazi concentration camps, is that person mentally healthy? In Fire In The Soul, psychoneuroimmunologist Joan Borysenko writes of this narrow aim of therapy: "Sigmund Freud...believed that when a person was cured of neurosis the best outcome that could be expected was return 'to an ordinary state of unhappiness.'" (New York: Warner, 1993, p. 54) Psychotherapy's official job is mopping up the mess that social systems make of our lives by convincing us that the mess is our fault, our failing, our screwiness. If we don't conform, adjust, fit in, and measure up, something must be wrong with us. And psychotherapy has its truth: we may well be frozen in grief or shock and not functioning at our best, but don't the social systems that shape us deserve equal scrutiny, equal critical analysis? Thankfully many therapists reject this paradigm and venture forth with their clients on the forbidden territory of meaning and human potential as well as of critiquing social structures, but it's no easy task persuading insurance companies to come along. Control institutions pay insurance companies to pay health professionals to keep people in their place, serving the established order.
The Agenda for School Systems in a Control Paradigm
Nor are school systems committed to developing the more that we are. Schools are an arm of social structures, whether religious, governmental, or economic. According to the paradigm-defined needs of those structures, tapping human potential doesn't create enough Dilberts to ensure the "efficient" running of corporate, governmental, religious, and educational hierarchies. In this century, business interests have dictated the structure of schools. Henry Ford quickly noticed that creative genius and intuitive knowing aren't useful on factory lines. So he pioneered the "modern" school system that inculcates values and skills appropriate for 20th century work life: being punctual, obeying orders, enduring hours, weeks, and years of boring, repetitive tasks, not talking while working, not resting, keeping to the schedule at all costs. Our minds become casualties of industrialization. Our souls end up casualties as well. Trusting our own judgment, thinking for ourselves, adhering to our values, and having confidence in our innate worth don't make us good foot soldiers for my-way-or-the-highway bosses. Only people with low self-esteem are sufficiently insecure to tolerate abusive work environments. Insofar as we believe we don't deserve better, we adjust, becoming the kind of person that's required to "do the job."
Obligingly, school systems produce people with precisely the low self-esteem that's needed for worker "flexibility." Fears of being wrong, of not making the grade are fears confirmed for 90 percent of the population. That's the percentage who are required not to get A's by the bell curve system, guaranteeing that 90 percent of everyone coming out of school believe that they're incapable of excellence. Schools mirror back to students the mass message that "you're just not good enough, but if you do what you're told without question, you may get better and be rewarded." That's a handy message to have installed in the psyches of 90 percent of the population-handy for perpetuating corporate, religious, governmental, and professional tyrannies, that is. All this modern schooling goes against what we know about the human mind and how we learn-and have known for decades. Studies in learning show that we learn best when we're most relaxed, yet schools maximize stress through fear of failure. Studies show that children learn most easily through cooperative learning, yet schools impose a competitive model. Studies also indicate that students' beliefs about their own learning abilities affect their performance-if they believe they're good learners, they learn easily; if not, learning the simplest things becomes difficult-yet schools systematically undermine students' confidence. In these and many other ways, school systems perform virtual lobotomies on our psyches, producing graduates who've long since lost their joy in learning, who believe they must be right all the time and "know it all" or be condemned to outer darkness, and who experience post-traumatic stress symptoms at the thought of having to learn new things on the job.
On Cultural Non-Commitment to Potential
Alice Miller, a champion of the potential we all possess from birth, pulls no punches in her books-For Your Own Good in particular analyzes the social, cultural agenda of shutting down our potential. As she explains, the traditional rules of child-rearing passed down from generation to generation have nothing to do with developing our potential, either emotionally, intuitively, psychologically, or intellectually. Their one agenda is control: control the child as soon as possible by any means, whether it's by punishment, humiliation, intimidation, beatings, grading, whatever it takes to break the child's will and autonomy.
The justification for this agenda is that children raised any other way won't fit into society when they grow up. According to this cultural paradigm-expressed in the rules of child-rearing-learning to forget who we are and to become what others want and expect us to be is the most important survival skill. Our potential as human beings is irrelevant, a side issue, compared to our ability to conform.
Of course we're supposed to believe that social systems have our best interests at heart and that obeying them is indeed "for our own good." If we conform properly, our potential will develop accordingly. But is this so? As we've seen, schools and therapy-two systems that you'd think would be committed to developing human potential-have no such commitment. In what system or area of the culture might such a commitment exist?
Governments are fully occupied with who has power over whom, who has the biggest budget, where money can be found, who wins which election or vote, etc. Developing the human potential of its citizenry is not a priority. If anything, it's not on the agenda at all. The insider's view that "the masses are asses" is music to ambitious politicians' ears, who then believe it's their manifest destiny to expand their personal power and become benevolent dictators. Dumb masses are easy to manipulate with slogans and half-truths. For their purposes, the less human potential the better.
As much as we value spiritual teachings, we can't say that religious organizations have much commitment to developing human potential either, though granted there are exceptions. Adhering to fixed doctrines, building congregations, raising money, meddling in the personal affairs of members, running down sectarian competitors, and using fear and guilt to exact obedience and tithing keep them busy enough.
Businesses and corporations certainly don't concern themselves with human potential, even though they sometimes pay lip service to it in the hopes of making employees more "productive." The bottom line is the bottom line, and if human potential comes up at all, it's considered a frill or luxury-"warm fuzzy stuff" that doesn't count in the "real world" of business except to mollify disgruntled workers or help them adjust to higher levels of stress.
Scanning the culture, we frankly can't find any system that's consistently committed to exploring human potential. If anything, our social systems regard human potential as an impediment, an annoying feature of human beings that gums up the systems' otherwise efficient workings. If people would just learn their roles and stick to them, everything would work so much better.
If we didn't know the paradigm behind these systems, we may find this lack of interest in human potential odd. Developing human potential seems crucial to keeping human civilizations vital and evolving, up to speed with the challenges that continually arise. Technology per se can't save us, since we're not using the alternative technology we already have to remedy social and environmental ills. What we lack is the the wisdom and foresight, the honesty, the sense of meaning, justice, integrity, and the good to manage human affairs well. These aren't technology issues but paradigm ones. Wisdom and foresight are precisely the potentials that a paradigm geared to domination and control factors out of us.
Related Subsection: Belief Systems and Social Perception Structures
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