Empowerment of the Individual
If entrenched institutions are to become open-ended, self-catalyzing, self-cleansing, and adaptable to change in a manner that reflects the will of keenly aware citizens, “we the people” must be educated in a manner that increases our awareness of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions in a creative and peaceful way.
Unfortunately, such individual empowerment is not occurring very much. Due to the highly fragmented, industrial-age modeling of our system of imparting knowledge, very few of us become comprehensive, critical thinking, and self-directed individuals. Even after 16 or more years in school, most of us remain imprisoned conceptually within a provincial orientation. back link check The result is that the general population moves on with their lives as fragmented, incidental cogs in one part or another of the mindless socio-economic machine of their time, largely unaware of the premises that empower it and frustrated about how to adapt to it or how to improve it.
This condition suggests that 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 society that had taken root and flowered for centuries, but eventually decayed. It would not matter how extraordinary our civilization had been. If we are to orient ourselves coherently in this complex, rapidly changing global environment, it is imperative that educational programs help individuals be liberated from illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies.
It was with the preceding observations and challenges in mind that I developed three courses to show how we could learn to direct our lives and our institutions more wisely than those who came before us.
1. Map Your Life is an empowering process that leads us through a journey of self-exploration. Its goal is to enhance 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.
2. Social Mapping focuses attention on great issues of our time with an emphasis on the need to transcend 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.
3. MetaVisioning is a process dedicated to establishing coherent, moral, and universal foundations upon which to build a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.
These “bottom-up” courses help us arrive at the truth of our true identity as a unique individual, who is whole, free, and empowered to function as a comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed person. No one demands that we must change or adopt any particular orientation. Since it is our life to live, it is suggested that we direct it from our own point of view. Accordingly, we are encouraged to question the programs advanced by prevailing institutions and the manner in which they are orchestrated, rather than submit to them thoughtlessly. This respect for our individuality and the effort to help us fulfill our best possibilities generate safe, truth-seeking, social spaces within which we more readily access the inherent moral and creative sensibilities embodied within us – sensibilities that will help:
- liberate us from illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, rather than remain imprisoned conceptually;
- unite us, rather than divide us into warring camps;
- spawn love, compassion, charity, and hope, rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair; and
- stop the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures, rather than remain passive and, perhaps, part of the problem.
Whether or not you are a student in school, I hope you participate in this endeavor to realize what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions in a creative and peaceful manner. Yes, we can resolve a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how we can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully; and we can fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species. We can help make all of this happen if enough of us begin putting our own life in order in a coherent, moral, and universal manner and connect with other individuals dedicated to the same noble quest.
As you explore this website further, you will find fuller explanations of the mapping and visioning courses, along with syllabuses and examples of Life Maps, Social Maps, and MetaMaps. And, in the Feedback segment, you will learn about the success of the mapping courses taught at Drexel University. In the Moving Forward segment, you will find how The Mazeway Project will proceed to fulfill its promise. Lastly, in the Mazeway Network segment, you will discover how the project will extend its reach beyond the classroom.
S U G G E S T E D N E X T : Life Mapping