The collective human delusion assumes ‘spacetime’ instead of ‘humantime’ as the fabric of the human psychic universe. Why should space be the component to be studied and mastered as human beings? It’s not the geographical but psychological distance that causes human troubles. I always conclude that the dimensions relevant to humanity are how we relate to our species, life, and how we refer to time. Therefore, our awareness should comprise combining social and temporal dimensions rather than the combination with space. Of course, the achievements of physicalism and technocracy in modern science are fantastic; they brought us, among other things, inventions of the sort of the Internet of things and so forth. However, I think it is time for the internet of human souls, an endeavor that needs a different type of intelligence. Rather than following the tradition of physics and studying the deconstruction and mechanics of the material world, I suggest deciphering the logic of humantime and its effects on psychological well-being, creative performance, and the peace of the collective mind. Humanity would be well advised to invest more in empowering humanness to address known social problems instead of using nationalized budgets for space forces and other armed defenses to fight the unknown material.
“Most conflicts are based on black and white thinking, the fear of devaluation, and the threat to one’s own (cultural) identity. There is one level, though, the global mindset, on which black is also white.”
I often hear that mindset is everything. This common knowledge is used in various contexts and as a ‘tool’ to reach different goals. “If you just put your mind on it, you can get it” became a standard approach in the personal development business. While it’s a good thing to have that knowledge and skill in one’s individual toolbox, I’m also interested in how humanity can achieve a mindset that brings the whole species forward as a whole. From an Awareness Intelligence perspective, my area of research and practice as a psychologist, it is about how to learn to set our minds for increased (if not maximum) true diversity and inclusiveness; something I consider to be crucial if we want to address a more peaceful world. I have written a lot (also in this collaborative) about Awareness intelligence. In terms of the topic of mindset, the concept of ‘global mindset’ possibly comes closest to what I mean.
Mindset: Where’s your attention?
At its heart, mindset is an attention-based approach to performance and for describing a global mindset, therefore, ‘international attention’ – attention to global strategic issues, attention to international beliefs and issues, can be used. How does international attention occur? In accordance with research, for example, traveling to foreign locations or discussing international issues fosters cosmopolitan thinking and behavior. I’ve experienced that during my international work and life as an expatriate in Japan. At the same time, my work as a psychologist and artist involves a high degree of a growth mindset, which might be positively influencing the development of a global mindset. For example, by expanding my horizon, I could fill in some of the blind spots of a fixed psychological map that all too often results in automatic judgment based on cultural understanding. Having a cultural identity makes people’s life easier; many do rely on cultural notions of categories of people to predict others, rather than considering people as individuals, and they favor people they consider to be members of their group. That provides for the human basic need for stability, respectively a sense of safety. in contrast, some people can overcome fear and enjoy more risky, complex, and elaborate thinking, and who are more willing to reexamine initial notions in light of new information. These are the ones who often are attracted to art, theoretical disciplines, and philosophy. But it can take them a long time to decide. Sometimes too long. Or never!
The development of intercultural sensitivity
Intercultural sensitivity is a helpful model for developing a global mindset. Intercultural sensitivity is high when one can adapt to add new behaviors to be more effective in moving in between cultures. In this model from Milton Bennet (1993), the experience of (cultural) difference is moving from more ethnocentric to more ethnorelative stages as follows:
Denial: “I don’t think there’s any other way.”
Defense: “My way is the best.”
Minimization: “What we have in common is more important.”
Adaptation: “I’m adding new behaviors to be more effective in a cross-cultural environment.”
Integration: “I can move in between cultures.”
Personal development towards a global mindset is a hard process because discrepancies between global and situational meaning cause distress. In fact, most conflict is based on the fear of invalidation, the threat of one’s (cultural) identity. A high degree of self-reflection, fearless self-questioning, and openness to commit to giving up privileges and support unity in diversity is required. In short, tremendous effort is required to reduce the distressful discrepancy between situational and global meanings.
Instructions for global information processing
Views that are limited to narrow social boundaries are inhibiting the development of social networks. Such symptoms and communicative isolation in their most extreme forms are characteristics of autism, a distinctly defined illness since the 1940s. The good news is: People lacking more global information processing can be instructed to improve. Humanity is not ill, but it definitively requires instructions on how to develop higher levels of awareness to connect sincerely with others. Interestingly, the availability of more and more global information (i.e., the Internet) did not increase the state of humanity’s global mindset. Instead of teaching how to justify current political structures, which are always local, we should educate on how to become global citizens who care for all.
A shift from cultural competence to Awareness Intelligence
Global citizenship is not a travel lifestyle, it should rather be an attitude of compassion. Multi-relational ability in the sense of Awareness Intelligence is a precondition for cross-cultural competence but goes beyond as it is culture-neutral. Any travel starts within! Cultural competence can be developed by putting one’s feet in another’s shoes. Awareness Intelligence (see also related articles on www.mathias-sager.com), however, is putting one’s consciousness in another’s soul. This will not only enable us to experience some different walks of life but to learn to qualify all of life’s souls. Real and lasting change comes from the level of mental models that enable awareness. Only if the deep-rooted individual mindsets shift towards forming a regenerated collective of deculturized societal structures, human behavioral patterns will start to change accordingly as well. That’s the utopian world of my dreams, the passion in my teachings, the goal of my art, and my deepest belief that it’s still possible; for the benefit of the individual and the common good alike.
One of our uttermost critical faculties in which lies the power to become aware of the nature of lifetimes is attention. To do the mental work of attending, the working memory needs to be able to allocate sufficient capacity. If we are not able to hold attention to picture life as a whole lifespan, how can we situate anything between the coming and going of life conceptually and as applied to ourselves and others? Do we think and act in full temporal awareness, which means to be aware that time is an illusion, or are we just following the row of events, one after the other, without questioning the more prominent arch of a life? Do we just follow cultural customs and social rules of temporal sequences or do we have an own understanding of the right timing of developments in our life along different possible milestones such as the time we go to school, work, marry, and retire? By following everybody else’s planned schedule, there is the peril of missing one’s making of an own plan. The ability to oversee the whole is critical. To do always the seemingly momentary correct thing that is, however, not validated against an integral perspective, risks to end up in unfulfillment and deep regret.
When one’s worldview expands entirely in a grid of paramount awareness, the energy of a unified field begins to radiate In physics, forces are theorized to be transmitted through so-called fields. Others use, besides the term of the ‘unified field,’ also ‘cosmic consciousness,’ in which the ‘in-here’ and ‘out-there’ meet. Awareness Intelligence can be understood as such a field where life-intelligent consciousness and mentalizing are harmoniously unified. Through unifying our thoughts with the nature of a multiverse, a state of all-inclusive and timeless humanness can be achieved, which lets us witness its power through showers of bliss.
POLLUTED DESIRE FOR LIFE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm)
One may find a lot of examples supporting the thesis that things got better, safer, and healthier. However, not being aware of globally increasing wealth inequality, existing heightened levels of hunger, and peaking numbers of refugees in some areas of the world, as well as soaring amounts of prescriptions of antidepressants in many societies, signifies that local perceptions might lack accurate information and understanding. Because what is affordable within reach, is unavailable at another place. What is acceptable for some, is intolerable for others. And what means poverty in this place, passes for luxury elsewhere. While escaping environmental pollution here, more pollution happens there. The growing world population and economy continue to exploit the planet’s resources faster than these can be renewed. Nature gets intoxicated with garbage whose decomposition takes centuries and irreparably contaminates with spurious poison the earthly and universal flow of energy for the generations to come. In developed countries we see today the first generations who are facing decreasing life durations. The life expectancy of a fifty-year-old in a low-income country, which represents the majority of the world population, remained the same as it was thirty years ago. In the last forty-five years, suicide rates have increased by sixty percent worldwide, which indicates a desperate mental climate even in countries of relative wealth. The desire to die usually comes from unfulfilled desires for life. Also most individuals who seem tired of life would decide to live if the necessary psychological support factors such as meaningfulness, purposefulness, and spiritual growth through awareness-intelligent living would seem achievable. All these can be achieved if egoistic group thinking is replaced with the ability to include all and everyone in one’s worldview. We need worldview and human identity that goes beyond the here and now, one that is socio-temporally inclusive of the extra-personal future and, as a result, is intelligently aware.
Excerpt from Awareness intelligence (M. Sager, 2018)
As you know from my blog posts, I combine psycho-philosophical discussions with painted metaphors. The combination of words and images is an opportunity to engage the mind and the soul at the same time. Both intellect and intuition add to the process of holistic (self-)reflection.
I live the teachings I write about as much as I can. I use the conclusions from my research and creative processes to guide me in my quest to become a fitter, kinder, and wiser person. Having a mantra to aid in keeping the focus right is a well-established method in personal development. Our surroundings trigger and remind us constantly and, therefore, influence us very much. In that sense, our clothes are the most proximate environment. I made the experience, that wearing expressive shirts helps to keep me accountable towards myself and increases the commitment towards the outside. I also experienced many interesting connections with others thanks to the food of thought and emotions that are radiated by the shirts.
It’s easy to find decorative, fashionable outfits with commonplace quotes. But it’s more difficult to find original combinations of psychology & art Therefore, I’ve designed my own Psychology & Art T-Shirts and love to wear them on (m)any occasion. Now I make them available to anybody, hoping that the artistic, colorful, and awareness-intelligent messages can inspire others as well.
I’d like to thank you for being a subscriber of www.mathias-sager.com and a loyal fan of mathias sager – Psychology & Art!!! It is my pleasure to offer you some of the more recent original art highlights printed on T-Shirts. Now for 30% less until the end of May 2021.
Express Awareness Intelligence and add color and awareness to style up your daily adventures! 🙂
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You can use the coupon when ordering at https://mathias-sager.com/product-category/t-shirts/ (or see links below). Please let me know in case of anything.
Single-mindedness is praised and rewarded everywhere in science as well as in business and private matters. If integrating more aspects of life into one’s lifestyle, one is considered unfocused and not knowing what he/she wants. People typically educate and develop in clearly predefined, straight career paths, and socially common and therefore accepted ways in which people all too often assume a tunnel view on life so they can be put into one-themed, clearly labeled boxes.
The Last Universalist
As French Henri Poincare described so well “Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” In the context of understanding life and its signification for human existence overall, some dots undoubtedly remain unconnected. Henri Poincare who died in 1912, is considered the ‘The Last Universalist’ in mathematics since he mastered all the disciplines at once. If today’s specialized scientific fields work in silos and are hindering inter-disciplinary cooperation, it might indeed be the case that a lot of knowledge is not brought into a more meaningful context and does not result into a house of wisdom that benefits and protects all humanity in a broader sense.
Missing systematic management of the mind
Project and productivity management skills to organize business processes are taught everywhere and on all levels of the education system. Surprisingly, the same diligence is not applied to the mental world. How can we think about our thinking and improve it for our own and others’ well-being? How can we critically check our awareness to make sure we don’t miss any essential aspects? The answers to these questions determine how we care for the world, and yet they are not discussed systematically enough in school. To quote the Buddha, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” I think it is overdue to build wholesome human attitudes, which is to think more and in different ways about how we develop and use awareness.
The benefit of mental triathlons
Awareness Intelligence is like a mental triathlon, or a triptych in art. It is not just one focus of mind, but a threefold set of socio-temporal perspectives that form a person’s worldview (for more on socio-temporal mental schemas see the Awareness Intelligence literature on https://mathias-sager.com/tag/awareness-intelligence/). It is to be hoped that one-sided extremism evolves into inherently diverse lifestyles. We need monks who are not only wise, but fit and socially engaging. We need physically fit intellectuals who care, and intellectual and kind sportspersons. We need leaders who serve on the ground of honest servant leadership style based on what’s healthy for human beings. And, we need real, fair competition that rewards not only the smart, but especially the kind.
Horizontal integration for more relevance
For a more harmonious and wholesome lifestyle it is to hope that personality is understood to not only develop vertically (i.e., into a specialization in one field), but horizontally (i.e., integrating multiple fields) to become aware of broader contexts, interdependencies, and connections across everything and all that is relevant.
Looking at people’s stress and anguish, the conflict between societies and how the environment gets maltreated, it seems that the human ability of mentally embracing, being aware of a global collective as a species did not keep pace with the globalization of the world. Is there a lack of a kind of mentality (respectively, awareness) in the sense of how populations connect themselves to a broader context like all humanity?
Transcending the narrow world of the ego
It appears challenging to bridge between individual and collective levels of reasoning. However, the feeling of interconnectedness is essential in contributing to health and well-being. Indeed, research findings suggest that psychological well-being is dependent upon one’s connection to a broader, even widely anonymous social scope that comes with a sense of meaning in life. Carl Jung spoke about different parts of the self that transcend the ‘ego’ self and that these need to be integrated to complete a harmonious inner self. The power of imagination can overcome an inflexible ego-centered mind. Imagination is also required to imagine future events, which constitutes (besides recalling matters of the past) a part of the ability to mentally ‘travel in time’. If people don’t imagine the future, their sense of self, and the perceived agency diminishes.
The social and temporal dimensions of awareness
Moreover, it is a person’s relation to the social world and time that can determine his or her meaning-making. In other words, it is a core construct of beliefs in these dimensions that forms a so-called ‘worldview’. ‘Sensemaking on a worldview level’ and ‘mental schemas’ are appropriate related terms at the cognitive level to determine what one is aware of. Hence, awareness seems to be linked to such mental schemas as they help to understand how people self-reflect on their socio-temporal worldviews.
Reflecting on one’s worldview
Worldviews are arrangements of beliefs used to create meaning of one’s experience of reality. From a cognitive perspective, worldviews involve ‘thinking systems’ including intricate patterns of thoughts and beliefs that integrate as an interactive whole. Beliefs are mental constellations that stand for relationships between categories, which determine how one experiences (i.e., is aware of) the world. For example, social worldview schemas would represent an individual’s beliefs about the social world. To mentally build a worldview, the abilities to learn and imagine, all of which require reflection, are essential. And humans do reflect on the continuum of time, a mental process that involves thinking about the past, present, and future.
Meaning-making through awareness about one’s socio-temporal scope of thinking
Accordingly, what results from combining thinking about social relations and time, is a socio-temporal matrix (see Figure 1) that can be used a framework to identify and visualize worldviews, and that can facilitate the exploration of psychological effects related to a person’s meaning-making and well-being based on their socio-temporal scope of awareness.
Socio-temporal worldview schemas
The nine fields of the matrix can be used to inquire about socio-temporal mental schemas, which means the scope and configuration of a person’s awareness. An individual’s worldview schema is expected to consist of a specific set of matrix fields, depending on whether one’s belief system emphasizes certain socio-temporal mental states over others. For example, one may emphasize other-related extra-past (e.g., socio-cultural upbringing), behave in an inter-present, rather relationship-dominated way, while focusing, however, on a self-oriented intra-future. Such a socio-temporal mental worldview schema might link to specific meanings as, for example, a more independent (i.e., denoted by the intra-past instead of an inter- or extra-past) and other-oriented (i.e., depicted as the extra-future rather than an inter- or intra-future) cognitive socio-temporal worldview preference.
A tool for self-reflection
In that sense, the socio-temporal matrix provides for a tool, respectively a mental map to support the navigation of socio-temporal worldviews, which, again, represents the scope and configuration of one’s awareness. The matrix has proven to be useful for self-reflection and fostering awareness about oneself and others.
Did you know, we are the only species who know that they know? Thanks to the development of our conscious we were able to discover this. Hence the choice of this month’s topic. Discover what the Skilled Helpers of this wonderful collaborative project have to say about Awareness…
Resilience, change and even love are topics we as human beings are aware of. In addition, we can be aware of an act, such as being aware of the effort you take each month to read our collaborative articles.The Skilled Helpers Collaborative
The Skilled Helpers Collaborative is an initiative aiming to bring meaningful content to you. Various skilled helpers from different backgrounds sharing their perspectives regarding a specific topic.
Grateful for their willingness to participate in this collaborative project, this month’s contributors are:
Mathias Sager -Psychologist
Rika Cossey-Transformational Coach
KallyTay -Freelance Expert
Sujit Gogoi–Career Clarity Coach
Claire Rajan-Life Coach & Enneagram Coach
Does our conscious make us aware? Does awareness equal consciousness? Or does being aware have everything to do with mindfulness and / or intelligence? Maybe awareness is a behaviour, an activity or a choice?
Discover what the skilled helpers of our wonderful collaborative project have to say about Awareness. Read the articles below and if it resonates, let us know by leaving a comment.
Don’t hesitate to Connect with one of the Skilled Helpers, in case you could use guidance.
If you want to increase reliability in decision-making, you need three fixation points, respectively three sources, for a three-way match. If for a point to be confirmed, you can’t find two other reference points, verification is weak. Think about a tripod and how its three legs need to interact simultaneously to provide a stable stand. Only by such a well-established awareness, more significant logical arcs of higher importance and sharper thought can be captured. Whether you want to achieve better thought-through results or to relax mental tension, think thrice, the same way as you take three deep breaths as a physical exercise. Don’t judge too early; only cross the street of thought after applying a ‘watch-listen-walk’ attitude in your decision-making. For your own and all others’ safety, watch (1) your intrapersonal self, (2) the interpersonal others, and (3) the extrapersonal all, as well as (1) the past, (2) the present, and (3) the future. Awareness Intelligence comes in through the combination of (1) watching the intra-past, (2) listen to the inter-present, and (3) walk the extra-future.
Mindfulness is a buzzword used all over. But still, few seem to understand what exactly the mind should be full of. Most people do not systematically think about their thinking; they do not reflect on their scope of awareness. Psychic blindness appears to be a common issue and, therefore, hinders natural fitness, unconditional kindness, and spiritual wisdom.
“The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.” – Unknown.
The eyes are not speaking to the mind and soul directly. Any external stimulation first always goes through a layer of receptiveness and awareness that is filtering and transforming signals into emotions and thoughts. It’s this layer of the mind that determines what we are aware of and, consequently, how wholly and wholesomely we experience the world. This mental capacity, though, has been neglected severely, why also the concept of Awareness Intelligence (AWI) was discovered only recently.
I’ve written a lot about Awareness Intelligence, what it means, and how it develops. In terms of psychic blindness, it implies the presence of blind spots that typically prevent an awareness-intelligent set of mind. The three psychic blind spots, how they shape our identity/worldview, and what can be done about them are as follows.
#1 – Your intrapersonal past for FITNESS
You don’t see your true nature due to social conditioning, cultural education, and ethnic identification.
Let go of your history; it’s random and imposed on you because of others wanting to preserve the status quo and their privileges. You, as a human being, are not defined by external societal rules, status, race, and type, and level of schooling. You are a human being that, like all others, can find all of life’s intelligence within your nature, in which the full human potential is contained. Only you can know what is in you. So, reach out to your real, authentic self from before you were born. You are life and its natural strength and fitness; unfold accordingly free.
#2 – Your interpersonal present for KINDNESS
You don’t see yourself and the persons you interact with as they are at the moment because you define people based on their performance cards of the past and their social perspectives.
Do not judge and do not expect. The past is a matter of interpretation, and the future has yet to be defined. Both the past and the future are beyond our direct control, so don’t let your interpersonal presence be influenced by such conditions. The kindness in relationships can only be enjoyed in the present, and you too deserve to be loved unconditionally.
#3 – Your extrapersonal future for WISDOM
You don’t see that there’s nothing to worry about in the future. Let go of ego-driven dominance of safety-related desires.
Only if you learn to detach, you overcome the fear of loss that is the cause of any depression. You are not a human being having a spiritual experience; you are an eternal spiritual being having a temporary human experience. If you serve this infinite force of life unselfishly, you can experience the most-satisfactory joy of service. The future belongs to the next generation that is life’s yearning for itself. Be part of it by serving it. Wisdom ensues when you can shift your purpose from hedonic happiness to a more profound, respectively broader meaning.
You don’t see that there’s nothing to worry about in the future. Let go of the ego-driven dominance of security-related desires. Only when you learn to detach, you overcome the fear of loss, which is the cause of any depression. You are not a person who experiences a spiritual experience; you are an eternal spiritual being experiencing a spiritual human experience. When you serve this infinite power of life unselfishly, you can experience the most satisfying joy of such services. The future belongs to the next generation, which represents the longing of life for itself. Be a part of it by serving it. Wisdom follows when you can shift your purpose of life from hedonistic happiness to a deeper and broader meaning.
“We must put our mind on this as we do put a man on the moon.” – Jacque Fresco
It’s not that complicated to understand this socio-temporal structure of the mind. Yet, it can only be changed by challenging one’s own identity/worldview. However, most people instead prefer to live in blindness than to have to change. Sadly, remaining in that comfort zone causes the above-described limitations and suffering, for which, when becoming too big, our society offers pill subscriptions to fight the symptoms (instead of the cause) and further fog and blind the mind, so one perpetually remains oblivious to the need to change. After all the technological progress and artificial intelligence that eventually benefits more economic aspirations than heart needs, it is time for increasing our Awareness Intelligence. What an exciting opportunity for our generation to evolve to a more awareness-intelligent way of thinking and life that is so vital for any endeavor of human learning and behavior to become fitter, kinder, and wiser for individuals’ benefit and the collective alike.
Do you realize that the pendulum switched? The future is here. There were only a few gaps to close, why even the digital generation has not been aware of losing their possibility to pull. It is definitely history that with free choice we can selectively draw from the endless streams of tunneled information to which we are bound. In the past you could find out where things were coming from without having to reveal your own origin / location. Today this is exactly the opposite. Today, in every area of life, things are pushed to us by the invisible, de facto uncontrollable global and artificial intelligence-enabled online content and service providers. These pushes are non-locatable and ubiquitous at the same time. There is no “where” anymore, except for ourselves, where we are assigned IP addresses, IDs, and usernames.
Our lifestyles and businesses now definitely got dominated by the rules of a (dystopian?) virtual world. This connectivity-enforced new disconnectedness will leave us for some time with mere memories of having lived in an in-person-world, where citizens had the choice between onsite and online services, where customers used to be king, where people were asked about the ‘why’ behind their data, and where they exchanged goods for tangible values. Internet platforms are inherently gravitating towards dominant market positions. Gone are the times where monopolistic situations and the related risk of abuse of power could be regulated, gone are the times where the “where” could be located and where the truth could be verified. Welcome to the no “where” generation.
By the way:
In the course of the upcoming ongoing mutations of viruses and the expected communication of the continuation of the contact restrictions, will we then receive a QUOTE FOR GOING OUT? Will citizens receive x tickets for cultural events such as concerts and museums, y vouchers for parties and z tokens for dining out? In this way, seditious uprisings by the people can be prevented (we’ve already come to terms with the privileged opportunities of richer citizens), and the online industry does not have to forego the continuation of the profits it has made since the beginning of the Corona crisis …
There may not be all bad:-). However, for alternative, possibly more humanistic approaches, there are a lot of ideas you can find on my website www.mathias-sager.com.
You get an understanding and compassionate ear here, but the most significant benefit lies in permitting me to offend you. First of all, if I didn’t dare to offend, I couldn’t be honest. Being offended offers a real-world check outside of one’s comfort zone. Second, if I solely entertained you, I’d waste your time distracting from the real work to be done. I will, however, offend you with substance, so you can accomplish getting very clear on your worldview / identity: Who are you really beyond social conditioning? What would you stand for if you had the self-confidence to overcome social pressure? Why are you here as a complete human being beyond economic considerations? Also, the feeling of being offended is a warning indicator that is showing you where to look within yourself for unresolved issues.
I may offend people, but I also make it easy for them to forgive me. You’re not alone; my content and approaches contain wisdom that offends quite everyone. I love people in general (not only the proximate ones who flatter me), and that’s why I care to offend you too. To be genuinely kind means to have the courage to offend. Of course, people like sugar. But shall I, therefore, feed them with more of what is not suitable for health? I’ve learned that if I love myself, I have the courage to allow me to get offended (which doesn’t mean to let me abuse, though).
If we feel offended without being able to forgive the offender, we actually say to disagree with the Right of Freedom of Expression. By instilling more fear, people become more susceptible to being offended without the willingness to forgive. And that’s how the freedom of expression gets strategically undermined by authoritarian systems. Today people are brought to be offended by others just breathing (we can even see it by people wearing masks;-)). It’s more important than ever to stand up for the right to offend, which is implicitly part of the Right of Freedom of Expression. So, have the courage to use the right to offend “sacred” symbols (who says they are sacred?), offend emotions and feelings, offend countries, governments, organizations, as well as political parties, religions, and traditions, and cultures.
Living in a comfort-seeking and fear-based materialistic society, my humanistic approach rejecting salvation-seeking from extrospection is offending people, of course. For me, however, respecting people doesn’t mean accepting their illnesses, victim roles, and unfulfilled potential.If we respected such unhealthy limitations, we’d offend humanity (and life, or god, as you like) as a whole. Indeed, many people live life in the offense to life itself as they put material goods over life. Yes, we justify our physical survival (which in our society doesn’t have much to do with survival rather than with a decadent luxury lifestyle) by not assuming responsibility for the many who suffer hunger, exploitation, and abuse.
I deliberately combine the science of psychology, the wisdom of philosophy and the intuition of art. Art is often very well suited to insulting people, challenging them and opening them up to creative and self-reflective thinking. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to offend or hurt someone who doesn’t care. This is the reason why people often have no interest in the artistic (or spiritual).
Group thinking inhibits critical thinking in favor of a wider human community. For example, religions proclaim to spread unconditional love and the universal truth of their respective God, but feel offended by other religions that believe in another God, who in turn should represent the same unconditional love and absolute truth according to these others. That’s the big lie of hypocrites on both sides. Such belief systems do base on exclusivity to offer fearful people the seeming security of belonging, which, however, they nevertheless never experience (therefore their defensive attitude). But there is a more inclusive way to feel more satisfyingly human. Learn to love truly! Love is the opposite of fear. If you’ve learned to get offended, you’ve learned to love. Love is hard to offend; a heart full of love doesn’t get irritated and offended irrevocably; it doesn’t see the world in terms of threats against one’s ego-assumed superiority, advantages, and privileges over others. Instead, strongminds who dare to seek being offended, not for hate but growth purposes, can find what humans actually are looking for: actualizing themselves through meaningful change toward their best self (which can’t be measured by material success alone, to make that clear once more).
You may have enough “friends” who will tell you what you want to hear and who are happy that you are unsuccessful (because it justifies their own stagnation). If I can’t offend you, I haven’t done my work of serving you decisively. With this in mind, thank you for allowing us to offend each other, not with style, but with substance for learning opportunities for our personal growth, individually and as a human collective.