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Posts from the ‘Introduction’ Category

Fulfill Our Best Possibilities

Yes, we can fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species. That is, if we strive to become: (a) comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals, (b) free of illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, and (c) oriented in a manner that is coherent, moral and universal.

Such freedom and empowerment will enable us to spawn 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: (a) unite humankind, rather than divide us into warring camps; (b) generate love, compassion, charity, and hope, rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair; and (c) 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.”

Welcome to The Mazeway Project. My name is Tony Parrotto. This initiative is based on my book, NAVIGATING THE MAZEWAY: Fulfilling Our Best Possibilities As Individuals and As a Society.

I define “the mazeway” as you, me, and everyone else, functioning within the social process of this planet, situated in the riddle of the universe – a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle. No maps or instruction manuals come with the puzzles. Instead, we are surrounded by many individuals and institutions that offer their perspective about how the world works or ought to work, and how we should model our lives. Unfortunately, those perspectives have largely failed their promise.

Humankind’s Condition

Here we are in the 21st century with access to vast libraries of knowledge, brilliant scholars, empowering technologies, and other significant resources. Nevertheless, we are plagued 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.

It was with those observations in mind that I embarked on a mission dedicated to discovering the basic cause of humankind’s systemic condition.

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : The Search For The Cause

The Search For The Cause

It was with that challenge in mind that I embarked on a mission dedicated to such discovery. During my inquiry, over a period of several years, the following observations stood out among the rest:

  • 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, 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 their 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.

Given this condition, not enough of us have been or will become aware of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions. Such lack of awareness does not bode well for the future. The chances are, like all the other major civilizations that came before us, we will become just another failed one that had taken root and flowered for centuries, but eventually decayed. It would not matter how extraordinary our society had been.

S U G G E S T E D   N E X T: What We Can Do About It

What We Can Do About It

With the preceding observations and challenges in mind, I came to this conclusion. If we are to do better than those who came before us and fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species, we must add to systems of education processes dedicated to enlightening us to become (a) comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals, (b) free of illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment, and (c) oriented in a manner that is coherent, moral and universal. To show how this can be accomplished, I developed three illuminating processes/courses that are outlined here:

1. Map Your Life is a process that frees and empowers us to direct our life’s journey from our own point of view, rather than thoughtlessly follow the prescriptions and proscriptions of prevailing institutions. This journey of self-exploration enhances our understanding of our self as a unique individual, member of society, and as part of the larger world so that we can orchestrate a more authentic, productive, and satisfying life. The process is energized by a 16-point Life Map Template that helps us assemble our Life Map in an organized and purposeful manner.

2. Social Mapping builds upon the clarity we gained about our self through the life mapping process by encouraging us to assemble a map of our opinions about great issues of our time.  We are asked to write our thoughts and feelings about each of those issues and about any other issue we may wish to add to the list, knowing that we are free to modify what we have written at any time. The sum of our opinions becomes our Social Map. This process helps us understand the dynamics of the social process and, in turn, escape illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment.

3. 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 MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully. As an individual, we build upon our premises and opinions defined in the Life and Social Mapping processes 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.” 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 more wisely as communities, as societies, and as a species. 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. 

Please Note: Within other segments of this website, you will find:

    • Fuller descriptions of the Map Your Life, Social Mapping, and MetaVisioning courses.
    • A syllabus for each of the three courses.
    • Databases of completed Life Maps, Social Maps, and MetaMaps.
    • Feedback from students who have taken the mapping courses.
    • How The Mazeway Project will move forward.
    • How the project will extend its reach around the world by way of the Mazeway Network. 
    • Book Reviews 
    • Mazeway Glossary

 

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T :     Our Life Map