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Posts from the ‘MetaVisioning’ Category

Our MetaMap

MetaVisioning is an illuminating process that broadens our perspective further by encouraging us to resolve coherent, moral, and universal premises upon which to build a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together meaningfully, joyfully and peacefully.

I suggest that this capability is inherent within all of us to some degree, as evidenced by extraordinary visionaries of the past, such as Abraham, the Buddha, Krishna, Jesus Christ, and Mohammad. However, we have not been encouraged to press our limits and be so adventuresome as an individual or by collaborating with others. Instead, we have been indoctrinated, more or less, to blindly follow the programs advanced by prevailing institutions, even though those programs continue to fail their promise.

To be prepared to develop a MetaVision, we are encouraged to:

  • step back from the noise of modernity and beyond the confines of our specialty, our social role, and convention;
  • place faith in our own moral compass, rather than submit thoughtlessly to the moral certainty of traditional programs; and
  • rely on science to distinguish truth from what is false, but appreciate that creativity and new truth involve more than the reductive process of science.

We begin by asking overarching questions regarding humankind’s highly problematic existence. For example:

  • Why has no major civilization in the history of humankind survived the test of time?
  • How does a society adapt to change if leaders of prevailing institutions are dedicated to maintaining the status quo and their power and control, rather than dedicated to the best interests of humankind?

We record our thoughts and feelings about these and any other questions we think should be addressed. And then, we discuss them in the classroom, and, if we wish, with family and friends.

At this point, the class begins the pursuit of a MetaVision by working at two levels, individually and collectively. As an individual, we build upon our own page zero premises that we defined during the Life Mapping process and upon our opinions about great issues of our time that we defined during the Social Mapping process. We build upon those premises and opinions by asking ourselves what they inspire us to envision regarding how humankind can direct its developmental journey forward more wisely. We summarize our premises, opinions, and what we envision within an open-ended essay, which becomes our personal “MetaMap.” Probably, unlike any other essay we have composed, there will be no ending. Instead, it becomes an ongoing work in progress that allows us the freedom to modify our point of view as we continue our developmental journey in the mazeway.

And then, collectively, we work together toward reconciling and synthesizing the MetaMaps of the entire class into a coherent, moral, and universal MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together meaningfully, joyfully and peacefully.

This pursuit of clarity about our existence helps each of us to become liberated global citizens, rather than imprisoned conceptually within a provincial orientation where illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies prevail. 

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Student Feedback or MetaVisioning Syllabus or Database of MetaMaps

Database of MetaMaps

We present here two examples of a MetaMap.

Anthony J. Parrotto
Jason Kunen

My MetaMap  by Anthony J. Parrotto

If we are to fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species, we must orchestrate our lives and our institutions more wisely than those who came before us.

Up to now humankind has been underachieving. The patterns of history show that there have been many extraordinary civilizations, some prevailing for many centuries. However, no major civilization in the history of humankind has survived the fuller test of time. Their expectation of sustainability was largely an illusion, like being proud of beautiful skyscrapers built on quicksand. And now, during our own time, we are challenged by a wide range of serious problems, including but not limited to environmental degradation, dysfunctional systems of government, corruption, poverty, financial crises, war, terrorism, disease, inadequate healthcare programs and antiquated systems of education.

Obviously, there is something wrong at basic levels of the social process that is causing the extraordinary range of serious and persistent problems. The problems confronting us are so pervasive that it suggests the challenge we face is systemic; that is, system-wide. Therefore, it may not matter how many well-intentioned initiatives there may be to treat the symptoms of or help enhance any part of the system. The scope and seriousness of our problems will continue until we discover the basic cause of humankind’s systemic condition and what we can do about it.

After years of research, here’s what I discovered to be the basic cause of humankind’s systemic condition:

  • We are not informed or it is not emphasized that we are programmable beings whose orientation is shaped by programs encoded on our consciousness by prevailing institutions around which we happen to be situated – religions, governments, schools, etc. As such, an orientation is imposed on us, rather than consciously chosen by us.
  • The programs advanced by prevailing institutions have not been sufficiently coherent, moral, and universal to orient humankind in a manner that inspires us to move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully. Instead, the programs advanced have led and continue to lead to illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment that diminish us as individuals, separate us into warring camps, and perpetuate the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures
  • We are not encouraged to question the programs advanced by prevailing institutions. Instead, we are encouraged to be faithful to the programs and assume that humankind’s highly problematic existence is either unchangeable or caused by the faulty orientation of others, rather than consider the possibility that our own orientation may be faulty.

I believe the combination of these observations defines the crux of humankind’s systemic condition, which prompts the question. Do we possess the wherewithal to transcend illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment, and generate coherent, moral, and universal programs that will inspire us to move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully? My answer would be yes, if we were educated in a manner that frees and empowers us to become aware of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions.

Unfortunately, due to the highly fragmented, industrial-age modeling of our systems of imparting knowledge, even after 16 or more years in school, very few of us become comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals. And because we are not encouraged to challenge the programs of prevailing institutions and the manner in which they are orchestrated, most of us remain imprisoned conceptually by illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies. Consequently, we develop too few leaders with wide-ranging vision and integrity, and we spawn a general population that moves on with their lives as fragmented, highly specialized, incidental cogs in one part or another of the mindless socio-economic machine of their time, largely unaware of the premises that fuel it and frustrated about how to adapt or improve it.

What I have presented above is, essentially, the core of my MetaMap that I will advance during collaboration with others who are dedicated to the pursuit of a MetaVision of how humankind can learn to move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully. During my effort to unify the group, I would add to the dialog the following insights.

It is important to realize that consciousness is our most valuable asset, since it provides the possibility of enabling us to become:

  • comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals,
  • free of illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, and
  • oriented in a manner that is coherent, moral and universal.

We can accomplish those very important goals by:

  1. going through the Map Your Life process to gain clarity about our self as a unique individual, member of society, and as part of the larger world so that we can orchestrate an authentic, productive, and satisfying life;
  2. going through the Social Mapping process to resolve our thoughts and feelings about the great issues of our time, rather than mindlessly following the opinions of others; and
  3. participating in the MetaVisioning process.

 Furthermore, I believe, if we are to do better than those who came before us and envision how to fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species, we must step back from the “noise” of our highly problematic existence and direct our consciousness toward showing respect for one another’s individuality and for the cultural diversity of humankind — empathy will lead to safe, truth-seeking, social spaces within which we more readily access the inherent moral and creative sensibilities embodied within us – sensibilities that will help:

  • Unite humankind, rather than divide us into warring camps.
  • Generate love, compassion, charity, and hope, rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair.
  • And, realize that, however culturally diverse humans may be on this planet, we are one species of conscious beings on a developmental journey together within the mazeway.

I believe, if we embrace those moral and creative sensibilities and begin to direct our life’s journey from our own point of view, rather than thoughtlessly follow the prescriptions and proscriptions of prevailing institutions, it would soon be discovered that an emphasis on empowerment and freedom from illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment would lead to profound enlightenment and development of individuals in our society and beyond. We would be spawning a mental revolution and, ultimately, a global “we the people” social movement that will change our way of living in the world – a ground-up way that is creative, joyful, and peaceful — a way that would lead to the cure of humankind’s systemic condition. While entrenched institutions will be resistant, they will gradually change and more effectively serve the best interests of humankind because great masses of unified followers will have become aware of what is possible and what to demand of themselves and of institutions in an open-ended, self-catalyzing, and self-cleansing manner.

Please note: This is the first of two MetaMaps. There will be many more, once we begin to teach the MetaVisioning course.  I assume that the additional maps will also be different and that we will work together patiently through the Mazeway Network to synthesize all of the MetaMaps into an overarching MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.


My MetaMap  by Jason Kunen

If we look at the occurrences in the world, and then observe ourselves, it becomes clear that the world is a reflection of how we are conducting our minds. Our way of minding is projected into the outer world. Therefore, if we wish to change the world, we must start with ourself, with our own inner life. Without Self-knowledge, our actions will perpetuate the cycle of /ego mentalism/, of /objectification/ and /violence/. The world is a projection of our inner life; that is, we are as we mind. And in observing our own psychological process, we begin to realize that we are all interconnected, not as a theory or belief, but as a fact. With the recognition of this fact, we can accept responsibility and take action to be ((R-evolutionary co-creators)) of a new humanity guided by compassion, wisdom, awareness, and understanding. Self-knowledge and understanding free us from self-limiting ideologies and illusions, and therefore, they must be the basis for a coherent, moral, and universal vision of humanity’s evolution to be self-directed, joyful, peaceful, creative, and dialogical beings.

If we look within ourselves, it seems that most of us have accepted self-centeredness, violence, jealously, hatred, anger, escapism in one form or another, apathy, and loneliness as a way of life.  Very, very few of us have attempted to understand our own psychological process and truly understand why the world is as it is.  We turn to systems, methods, practices, religions, philosophies, belief systems, rituals and prayers, political and economic ideologies, science, or some other set of beliefs to give us the answers.  For many, a system is imparted, conditioned, and given to us from birth, but we live with it without questioning it, or we reject as a reaction, not through understanding. When we live according to the doctrines and ideas of another, we become second-hand, mechanical human beings.  We repeat what others have said and try to justify, through our knowledge and books, that we are right.  We tend to privilege our own framework and believe it to be absolute.

If we want to create a world of peace and collaboration, we must be willing to face ourselves and strive to understand our own psychological process. It is very empowering to realize for oneself that we do have a choice of how we want to process our life and experience. We can be aware of how we are using our mind and observe our reactions, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, judgments, motives, emotions, conditionings, and desires. This awareness does not justify, condemn, judge, or try to escape from what is, but simply watches it without interfering. We can simply watch unobtrusively; once we start judging, condemning, justifying, and interfering, it means we are trying to escape the fact of what we are because we are afraid to look at ourselves and are trying to become something else. If we learn to observe ourselves in this non-judgmental manner, with an interest and an openness to see what we are, then we begin to understand ourselves, and a change happens naturally.

Understanding ourselves requires that we thoroughly examine /ego-mentalism/, the mental framework most of us use that fragments, objectifies, and polarizes all experience. Using a mental technology that fragments, objectifies, and focuses on itself, leads to a breakdown in communication, and damages our relationships with the planet, each other, and ourselves. Our /ego/ sees itself as a self-sustaining, independent entity that is separate from everything else.  We have a desire to control everything else according to our own nature and dispositions (based on thought and memory) because at some level, we feel we are inferior, insecure, afraid, and lonely. This is because our /ego-mind/ does not see or understand the interconnectedness, the relationality of all things.  In response, our /ego way of minding/ cuts us off from others because the /ego/ tries to assert its own independent space and define itself; it believes itself as a self-sustaining identity, and gives the illusion of independence from all others.  In doing this, it creates a void of emptiness and loneliness within ourselves, which is what drives our incessant desire to be something else, or to become like someone else, and we become distracted from really seeing who we are.

As a way to deal with this void, many of us conform to the patterns of society, to a peer group, to this or that ideology, a belief system, in order to feel like we are a part of something greater.  When you conform to any pattern, you are given answers, beliefs, expectations, and standards so that you no longer need to question and inquire or understand.  As we become more fixed in this pattern, we become more and more attached and psychologically dependent on it, because that becomes our /limited framework/ for understanding the world.  We cling to our /identity/ and our /framework/ and are afraid of giving it up, not because we fear the unknown, but because we fear giving up and undermining all that we know. Rather than engaging in inquiry ourselves to see if there is a different way of life that is free of anger, hatred, self-centeredness, greed, suffering, etc., we accept these patterns out of fear.  Psychological comfort and attachment to our fragmented, objectifying mental operating system (our way of minding), is a primary cause of our unwillingness and fear to understand ourselves and life.

An ((inner revolution)) is contingent on our capacity to be aware of our psychological process and be open to inquire if there is a profoundly different way of living, not through systems, methods, beliefs, or ideals that are separate from us, but really living in a creative, active, understanding, coherent manner. To that end, there are more and more ((initiatives)), from martial arts to yoga to meditation, that ((empower)) people by showing them that we do have a choice as to how we can use our minds, and that we can become ((aware)) of our way of minding.

Tony Parrotto’s Mazeway Project, through its ((practices)) of Life Mapping, Social Mapping, and Meta Visioning, allows participants to sketch the foundations of their life and thought. This encourages people not only to reflect on their own life, but also to open them to inquire if there is a coherent, moral, collaborative, and creative way of ((living)). These Maps allow us to seriously consider the great issues of our time, and engage in ((dialogue)) with ourselves and others on these matters. The Mapping processes makes us more and more aware of our conceptual imprisonment, and simultaneously empowers us to free ourselves from self-limiting ideologies and illusions to become liberated, reflective, and self-directed global citizens.

Another empowering tool to help people recognize their ability to become aware of their mental framework are the markers developed by Ashok Gangadean. These markers distinguish when one is using /ego-script/ or ((Logos-script)) are highly valuable devices for promoting global literacy and ((dialogue)) across worldviews. The ((Logos-script)) or ((double bracket markers)) are, essentially, used to denote words that are not fragmented, objectified, absolutized, or stuck in a particular framework. Such markers enable people to recognize that they have been lodged in /ego-centric minding/ and conditionings, facilitates inter-faith, inter-cultural, and inter-world dialogue, and provides a unique and universal language to ((communicate)).

We should recognize the fact that when we attribute the problems of our world to some external factor, we are deferring our responsibility to another.  When we do that, we separate ourselves from the problem.  This leads to apathy and inaction, because now one believes that someone else is tasked with the mission of solving such problems.  We turn to our leaders to solve wars, end poverty, change education, and the like, yet we ourselves in our own lives continue to be violent, greedy, and surrender the responsibility of educating our children to another.

First and foremost, we must recognize that we ourselves are responsible for these problems, but instead of feeling guilty and powerless, we must also see that we also have the power to become aware of this way of minding and change it. By ((transforming)) our /ego-centric and self-centered/ mindset and ((evolving)) to a way of ((minding)) that is guided by compassion, love, wisdom, intelligence, understanding, dialogue, and free of fear, we affect the network of relationships around us. Society is the vast network of relationships, and how we conduct our mind affects our relationships thereby affecting the society.  Therefore, solving the problems in our world means addressing them within ourselves.  If we know how to look at the violence, anger, loneliness, suffering, pain, and the rest of it within ourselves, without judging or condemning it, but observing to understand it, then we can begin to understand others and work to solve these great issues.  Once we realize that we have a responsibility to humankind, to the planet, and to ourselves, we take the first step towards ((transformation)) through ((Self-knowledge)).

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Home

MetaVisioning Syllabus

The theme of the MetaVisioning course will be to examine how dialogue across world views is possible, and if we can come to a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.

Through inquiry, dialogue, and self-reflection, we will discover if we can become aware of our own conditionings, and examine how they affect the relationship with ourselves, others, our planet, and how we encounter diverse worldviews. We will investigate the reality of conceptual imprisonment and explore whether freedom from self-limiting orientations is possible.

The MetaVisioning process takes place at two levels. As an individual, we assemble our personal MetaMap; that is, our own vision of how humankind can move forward together more wisely than those who came before us. And then collectively, all students work together toward reconciling and synthesizing the MetaMaps of the entire class into an overarching MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.

Navigating the Mazeway by Anthony J. Parrotto.
Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance by Osho.
Freedom from the Known by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Course Schedule:
Weeks 1, 2, 3:    Defining the Mazeway. What is Metavisioning? What is a MetaMap? How can we come to a coherent, moral, and universal vision of progressing in a creative, joyful, and peaceful manner in a global village? (Navigating the Mazeway)

Weeks 4, 5:    Identity and Awareness. How is dialogue across worldviews possible?   Introduction to the /single/ and ((double)) bracket literacy. What is conceptual imprisonment? (Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance)

Weeks: 6, 7, 8:    How is conceptual imprisonment affecting our relationships? Can we be free of conceptual imprisonment? The relationship between self-limiting ideologies and conceptual imprisonment? Conceptual imprisonment and moral certainty. Can we become liberated citizens of the mazeway, rather than be conceptually confined within a provincial orientation where illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies prevail? (Freedom from the Known)

Weeks 9, 10:    How can we resist submitting to the moral certainty established by traditional programs? Can there be institutions that adapt to change and more effectively serve the best interests of humankind? Can leaders and followers become more aware of what is possible and sustainable, and what to demand of themselves and of institutions in a coherent, moral, and inclusive manner?

Week 11 (final week):    Completing our own MetaMap and attempting to synthesize the MetaMaps of the entire class into a coherent, moral, and universal MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.


SUGGESTED NEXT: Database of MetaMaps