To some, consciousness may seem like an abstract subject of study, devoid of practical consequence for what most people value in their day-to-day lives. For instance, what does the possibility suggested by near-death experiences that reality could extend beyond the material realm have to do with the Gross Domestic Product?
Financial news discuss GDP, interest rates, the value of stocks, the price of oil, and other numerical parameters. However, underneath all these apparently objective matters, we find flows of information in a power struggle between various agents and interest groups. Here, rule intentions, strategies, actions, reactions, words, interpretations, prognostications, models of reality... These are, in turn, based on attitudes and patterns of behavior, which are ultimately rooted in what we value or prioritize in accordance to our individual natures and how we respond or affect the overall culture (collective unconscious, zeitgeist, morphic field, information field, noosphere, or holothosene).
If individual consciousness changes as a result of transformative experiences like out-of-body or near-death experiences, their paradigm-shift may reflect on what they value: rather than material things and a will to power over others, they may shift toward enriching experiences and a will to power over their own immaturities, weaknesses - the darker and ignorant aspects of their own nature - and to develop their internal powers, knowledge, capacities or qualities. Such transformative experiences can lead one to foster cooperation and increased well-being and goodwill for others as oneself.
A post-materialist, non-reductionist, collaborative paradigm centered on human potential associated with such transpersonal experiences would certainly result in a very different economic system from past failed models and current models in crisis.
We do not have to look to psi phenomena for transformative experience. When humankind took the first picture of Earth from outer space, it revealed to itself the beauty of its Home, its Space Ship, and the ignorance of divisiveness and ecocide. As consumers, people in developed nations are less apathetic to child and slave labor and anti-ecological practices, holding companies accountable to a higher ethical standard. The sharing, connectivity and neutrality of the Internet, once tasted, is now worth fighting for and people are not willing to relinquish it to particular interests. Instead, they are disrupting old ways of being and doing, through sharing ideas, resources and creations.
As the collective conscience evolves, so does the economy - often as a result planted by a few pioneers of conscience and vision, the result of our own intellectual and spiritual evolution and by crises and other events that mark us, accelerated by connectivity technology. Economics are rooted in human behavior - the most influential thinkers on economics from Adam Smith to Karl Marx understood this.
As technology takes over more and more jobs that were once performed by humans, attributes like creativity and innovation (traits associated with lucid dreamers and conscious projectors, for example) become more valuable. On the other hand, the means of production and its associated wealth are become more and more concentrated on a smaller population. More and more people are becoming redundant to economic production. Technological breakthroughs and social benefits that can extend the quality and duration of life are often quite expensive. This is forcing societies to evaluate, not the price of gold (which is partially objectively and partially subjectively determined), but the value of a human life. Is the worth of a human being determined by his or her accumulation, expenditure, or production of wealth?
What is truly important in life? Will you defend only your own, short-term security? Attempt to secure your membership in corporate, local or national elites that defend their own power and freedoms?
With smaller tax bases, as people are less able to rely on nation-states and are looking increasingly to contribute to their community for human security, because it is the right thing to do and because our connectivity ensures that someone else's problem becomes your problem sooner or later, even in other countries. How can we foster individual liberty and potential, while caring for the liberty and potential of others?
The highest human principles value dignity, virtue, liberty, knowledge, relationships, human potential, and well-being. Our actions show our values are not always in line with our principles. Why not? This is the realm of consciousness science and allied academic fields like psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, neuroscience, political science. Specialists from these and other fields will converge in Portugal, May 22-24 for the International Congress of Conscientiology (Consciousness Science). The experiences, experiments and theories to be discussed at the ICC are all centered on the nature of consciousness and our conception of reality: the root-level of all our manifestations, which affect our ethics or values, patterns of behavior and attitudes. In turn, these provide the ubiquitous, nearly-invisible, but powerful framework that underlies what, how and why we do what we do individually, socially and as a global village.
As "Samurai Management" and "Dharma Marketing" author and ICC panel moderator Paulo Vieira de Castro says "we are born empty-handed and we die empty-handed," so the accumulation of capital and material goods is clearly a pathology. Castro also reminds us that a cow in a pasture appears content, because it is expected to act as a cow - no more, no less. Capital went from a means to an end, but human unhappiness prevails, because humans are in dissonance with their own nature as an interconnected consciousness in a progress of self-realization. Sharing, collaboration, applied self-knowledge and growing with others, must replace hording, separation, competition and self-ignorance.
Change your consciousness, change your world. See you in May, in Portugal at the ICC!
"With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches."
"Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science."
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”