On the Nature of Automatic Human Activities

Finally Gaining Explicit Control over Our Future Progress, Well-Being, and Shared Values

By Barry Borgerson

Barry@2Selfs.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barryborgerson/

2Selfs Revolution book

PDF version of article

Please use PDF version if you wish to print this article.

Edited 1/26/2020

About this Article

 

Since the West’s Science/Enlightenment Revolution, which reached its full fruition just before the American Revolution, we have done a spectacular job of managing the physical (science, technologies, products) world and for the first two centuries did a good job of managing the mental (human activities including our social systems and personal responsibilities) world. We understand this progress through the explicit processes we use and the results we achieve such as long-term improvements in standards of living, health, longevity, and values including several forms of freedoms. Since the West achieved much better successes than the rest of the world for two centuries, have you ever wondered why other countries and cultures did not copy our visible formulas? There must be some fundamental reason, but neither they nor we understood that our “magic formula” resided in a hitherto anemically understood and feebly managed part of the human mind. It turns out the West indirectly constructed a contextual framework (which 2Selfs Theory models as an auto-context) into the automatic part of the minds of our citizenry that provided the mental foundation to unleash the latent power of our amazing thinking and problem-solving abilities. When used that way, we refer to auto-contexts as worldviews. A few decades ago countries in other parts of the world finally figured out how to construct (indirectly) problem-solving worldviews within their citizenry, so we started losing our unfair advantage.

 

While obviously different models of the mind are possible, you will learn that there is no chance that I am wrong that we have a hidden mental mechanism (that I model as auto-contexts) that plays a decisive role in blocking and empowering fundamental progress. This article will convince you that the next wave of discontinuous progress must come from explicitly understanding and managing just what discontinuous progress entails – transforming the auto-contexts of a critical mass a citizens of a profession, a country, or a whole culture as in the West. Repeated exposure (as with this article) and successfully using 2Selfs Theory will automatically construct 2Selfs Worldview in individuals, professions, countries, and eventually throughout the West, which will constitute the 2Selfs Revolution.

 

Roughly concurrent with the rise of countries outside the West, the West had finally reached an inflection point where the powerful worldview foundation we used for two centuries started failing us, so our “greatness” has been inexorably declining over the last four decades. It is always difficult to see large-scale social changes while a society is in the midst of experiencing them, but you will learn that our current problems are systemic and widespread, with the most visible and troubling social segment being our Western forms of governing systems that have now tragically (and quite visibly) hit the end of their effectiveness. That is a major reason why we must quickly launch the 2Selfs Revolution. Desperate times call for extraordinary efforts, and in this case, we need a transformation in the way we solve our growing human-activities problems. 2Selfs Theory, which provides the theoretical knowledge of the 2Selfs Revolution, finally enables us to understand and manage many aspects of human nature that were previously (indirectly) recognized but poorly understood and inadequately managed. 2Selfs Worldview will empower us to understand the big picture and the depth of the trouble we are in, and it will provide the mental foundation to use 2Selfs Theory most effectively. Since human nature did not suddenly change, what could possibly have happened that causes me to assert that the West has fundamentally hit the end of its greatness? You will see symptoms in many areas of human activities with emphasis on business (pretending we can find a static formula for “sustainable success” in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world), in politics (with massive technology-enabled manipulations destroying our governing systems), and in religion (pretending that the creation of everything happened about six thousand years ago against overwhelming evidence). You will learn in this article that for all of the amazing benefits the Science/Enlightenment Revolution provided us, it also unleashed an unrecognized mental-world time bomb with a slow fuse that finally started causing minor explosions about four decades ago and then erupted in the political arena in 2016 in the UK and the US. That time bomb is rooted in the fundamental discrepancy between how we understand and manage the physical world and how we understand and manage the mental-world ramifications of that technological prowess to our automatic human activities. Not surprisingly, understanding that root cause of our descent from greatness, our ability to overcome it, and the path to resurrect the greatness of the West all reside within the many current mysteries of automatic mental activities.

 

2Selfs Theory adds insights and improvement processes focused on overcoming the massive and escalating amount of pretending and technology-enabled manipulating that exploit several currently vulnerable properties of our automatic activities. However, the central focus of this article (and the greatest 2Selfs Theory breakthroughs) is the previously only implicitly recognized, poorly understood, and inadequately managed mental mechanism of auto-contexts. I will convince you through many revealing examples and using other compelling mental mechanisms that auto-contexts are very real even though they are extremely difficult to understand because they normally elude our notice and frequently (and persistently) deceive us. However, once we conquer (understand and manage) them, a discontinuously new dimension of possibilities opens up for us in terms of solving a huge and growing number of debilitating human-activities problems.

 

You will learn in this article that the 2Selfs Revolution should impact the future successes of the West at an equivalent level to the Science/Enlightenment Revolution that started almost five centuries ago. That revolution took well over two centuries to propagate (indirectly) the science worldview throughout the West and thereby emancipate our thinking and problem-solving abilities that launched the greatness of the Modern West. Because we are not coming out of an extremely long period of stagnation as happened with the Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution, and because we are now on a systemic downturn and everything happens much more quickly these days, we must work our way through the 2Selfs Revolution in a much shorter time. This West-wide worldview transformation must occur directly because we are now emancipating our automatic activities, which necessarily includes understanding and managing worldviews. Therefore, for the first time in human history, we will now have the ability to directly embed a worldview about worldviews so that we can manage them much more rapidly, which will require new insights and techniques. This time, explicit knowledge and processes will not be sufficient. We must accomplish an overarching worldview transformation for the West and spread it widely. We must create the 2Selfs Worldview transformation quickly, and I designed this article to enhance the chances of inculcating the massively empowering 2Selfs Worldview within the automatic part of your mind as you work your way through its insights and examples.

 

Here is a preview of the unfamiliar new world you are about to enter that may initially create reality vertigo for you. The Modern era that the West has operated within for nearly two and a half centuries focused on maximizing our thinking abilities to solve many problems and to produce the forms and levels of greatness we achieved. The 2Selfs Revolution will take us to a new era where we will continue to maximize our thinking abilities but also learn to manage our automatic activities. Massive discontinuous improvement will come from learning to manage our certainties about our certainties (or auto-contexts in general), which seem so profoundly real to us today. However, while many of our beliefs or deepest assumptions are true or at least serve our success, well-being, and positive-values needs, you will see compelling examples that many of them are counterproductive and increasing numbers of opportunistic or unscrupulous individuals and groups are constructing downright dysfunctional beliefs, which are a major source of our descent from greatness. Most people don’t currently know how to manage their auto-context-based certainties, but our rapidly and radically changing times will require that citizens of the West learn to do that in the future.

 

We have now reached the point in the West where improving or even maintaining our widespread standard of living is no longer sustainable unless we explicitly recognize, comprehensively understand, and systematically manage automatic human activities. 2Selfs Theory finally empowers us to accomplish that discontinuous ascent. The West achieved our forms of greatness of the Modern West when our cultural predecessors heroically accomplished (through several generations) the Science/Enlightenment Revolution. We now have the extremely rare opportunity to become another heroic generation to launch the 2Selfs Revolution.

In the aftermath of the European Enlightenment, the “Founding Fathers” of the US heroically launched the West on its path of constructing representative forms of government. We have reached the point in the maturation of the human species where advanced self-governing societies can no longer make systematic prosperity, well-being, and shared positive-values progress unless we conquer automatic human activities. Accordingly, we now need “Founding Parents” to launch the West on a path to resurrect the effectiveness of our governing systems. But we must do much more. We now chronically need heroic figures to emerge to add 2Selfs Worldview to each profession that addresses human activities (as most must do at least occasionally) so they can a operate at a higher problem-solving “dimension” to where they can manage the (automatic) mental-world ramifications to our social systems due to our amazing technological progress. More generally, we need to raise up “Founding Parents” to discontinuously improve the ability of their discipline to address automatic human activities and therefore to raise the supraevolution level of their profession and to contribute their part to the 2Selfs Revolution.

The following assertions may seem like hyperbole or an unnecessary overstatement, but as you work your way through this article, you will be amazed at how much of our lives are controlled by our automatic activities without us explicitly noticing, comprehensively understanding, or effectively managing these activities. The most surprising revelations are how vulnerable we become to simplistic solutions when our discomforts exceed our tolerance level; how worldviews we construct control our ability (or lack thereof) to think effectively, solve important problems, and maintain moral values; and how some of our deepest assumptions and most cherished certainties are often wrong or work against our desired successes. The 2Selfs Revolution will impact the West in profound ways. Fortunately, it won’t just stop our decline because some of our social systems and particularly our governing segment have deteriorated so badly that freezing our status here would be unacceptable. Perhaps we might aspire to having the 2Selfs Revolution take us back to the best we ever achieved during the Modern West. However, that would not be effective because we never knew how to overcome our current technology enabled manipulations and we were never able to change our social systems rapidly enough to accommodate the massive technology-driven changes and increasing global competition we are now experiencing. The very good news is we will not only recover from our current decline, we will also raise the West up to higher levels in many of our social systems than was previously possible as we learn to understand and manage automatic human activities. We are about to reach an unprecedented level not just for the West but also in the overall maturation of the human species. As a result, the 2Selfs Revolution will become the most consequential event in the West so far in the 21st century, and since culture-wide mental revolutions are extremely rare and have such profound, enduring, and widespread societal effects, it will remain one of the major transformational events of this century.

 

We need to raise our expectations significantly in terms of learning how to systematically increase standards of living, escape our current slippery slope of the destruction of our governing systems in the West, and identify and diffuse widespread positive values. I designed this article to provide the catalyst to launch the 2Selfs Revolution, which will occur when many citizens of the West join the process.

 

Brief Introduction to 2Selfs Theory

 

If you arrived at this article after having previously seen an introduction to 2Selfs Theory, please go directly to the article below.

 

If you arrived here without having previously seen an introduction to 2Selfs Theory, please read the following contextual introduction so you can make better sense of this article.

 

A basic assumption in the 2Selfs Revolution book and the articles at this website, including this one, is that we operate in two distinct modes (a thinking mode and an automatic mode) but that we have only been explicitly managing one of them. Furthermore, the West has now reached a mega-juncture where we will inevitably continue to atrophy as a great culture if we do not quickly and explicitly learn to manage our automatic mode (which 2Selfs Theory models as our auto-self) just as well as we have now long explicitly managed our thinking mode (which 2Selfs Theory models as our thinking-self).

Our Two “Selfs”

Thinking-Self

Our intentions

Auto-Self

Our robot within

One of the advances of 2Selfs Theory is to identify four distinct types of auto-self activities and then to model how each type operates behind the scenes. 

Four Types Auto-Self Activities

Auto-Behaviors

Auto-Skills

Auto-Contexts

Auto-Expertise

All four auto-self types contribute to our successes and well-being, but this article (and the 2Selfs Revolution book) focuses on auto-behaviors and auto-contexts because our previous inability to understand and manage them adequately is playing a decisive role in the West’s current demise from greatness. Also, we focus on these two auto-self types because conquering them is the key to resurrecting the greatness of the West.

 

Auto-Behaviors: Those automatic behaviors (habits) we compulsively exhibit or actions we uncontrollably fail to take in a timely manner.

  • Many professions already manage auto-behaviors including psychotherapists and transformation coaches.

  • Comfort Imperative: A major advance with 2Selfs Theory is in modeling the Comfort Imperative, which causes us to seek pleasure but more importantly to escape discomfort at any cost to our future successes and well-being.

    • Unfair Fights: When thinking-self intentions engage in battles with auto-self drives, an unfair fight ensues because the auto-self overwhelms the thinking-self over any extended period.

    • Simplistic SolutionsExternally Driven Unfair Fights: When discomfort exceeds people’s tolerance level, the Comfort Imperative causes them to succumb to seduction traps often in the form of simplistic solutions that satisfy the desire for a success without producing the success desired.

    • Evasion GimmicksInternally Driven Unfair Fights: We automatically take actions to escape discomfort, so we all have a suite of evasion gimmicks we use to enable us to ameliorate our discomfort while pretending we are not undermining our successes.

 

Auto-Contexts: These are hidden assumptions and beliefs, which serve as contextual frameworks that appear in many forms and that, among other attributes, control the way we view and understand the world about us and how we go about solving problems.

  • You likely already have some idea about auto-contexts in the form of “paradigms,” “worldviews,” or “mental models.”

  • This is the area of the biggest breakthroughs of 2Selfs Theory because it models auto-contexts way beyond anything that has previously existed.

  • Our failure to understand and manage auto-contexts is the reason for much of our under-performing in business and is a major source of the collapse of our Western political systems.

  • Auto-contexts are responsible for problem-solving foundations, certainty illusions, innovation deathtraps (culture lock), a second form of constructed “truth,” and the supraevolution process, which are outlined below; among other properties, auto-contexts also create the power of political branding/propaganda and values maintenance, all of which the 2Selfs Revolution book explains and this article outlines.

    • Problem-Solving Worldview Foundations: Worldviews are a form of auto-contexts that provide the foundation that determines (enables or disables) our ability to understand whole domains (classes) of problems and to solve specific problems effectively within each domain.

    • Certainty Illusions: These are a side effect of auto-contexts that make us certain we are correct even when we may be dysfunctionally wrong. Sometimes certainty illusions are constructed wrong initially and other times they start out providing helpful certainty, but the environment changes making them dysfunctional, and we don’t notice the difference. This is a main mechanism responsible for innovation deathtraps.

    • Innovation Deathtraps: The auto-behavior-based Comfort Imperative blocks culture change because it makes the process very uncomfortable. However, businesses and other organizations normally do not even get to that point because the auto-context-based certainty illusion creates a level of confidence, often based on prior successes, that the current path of a company is certainly correct even long after the environment has rendered it dysfunctional.

    • Constructed “Truths”: When we consider an assertion to be “true,” we intuitively assume that it corresponds to something “out there” (i.e., outside of our mind). This is the correspondence verification form of truth that we verify through thinking-self activities such as science, formal logic, and examining historical documents. However, a second, certainty construction form of “truth” provides an overwhelming experience of “truth” that is independent of any correspondence with the world out there (i.e., outside of our internal mental states) and is often opposed to known facts (which we refer to as certainty delusions).

    • Supraevolution: “Supra” is a prefix meaning “above,” “over,” or “beyond the limits of, outside of.” Therefore, supraevolution refers to an evolution layer above our biological evolution. It creates the worldview foundation for problem solving and values enforcement among many other fundamental properties. The Science/Enlightenment Revolution was the West’s last overarching supraevolutionary ascent. We are now in just the second supraevolutionary descent of the West, which we identify as the Manipulation Devolution. The only visible way to reverse this supraevolutionary descent and resurrect the greatness of the West is to launch a new supraevolutionary ascent – the 2Selfs Revolution.

  • Auto-contexts automatically emerge through repeated thoughts, normally accompanied by strong feelings.

  • 2Selfs Worldview, which provides the contextual framework (problem-solving foundation) to understand auto-self activities, will automatically emerge through repeated successful use of 2Selfs Theory and through repeated insights that you will attain as you work through this article.

 

Auto-Skills: We execute these rapid, automatic activities without thinking-self understanding or involvement.

  • Includes sports, music, language, nonverbal communications, public speaking, and image processing skills.

  • Many professions already help people with these including sports coaches and music teachers/trainers.

 

Auto-Expertise: We exhibit this elusive capability when we see solutions to problems holistically without going through a long analysis process.

  • Also known as “intuition,” “gut,” “insight,” and “acumen.”

  • Automatically and imperceptibly emerges after many successful thinking-self-managed solutions to similar problems.

  • Not contributing to West’s mega-descent. More research can create additional opportunities.

 

You will increasingly learn that the 2Selfs Revolution (which will take us to 2Selfs Age) is the alternative to the Manipulation Age into which we are currently descending.

 

With that brief introduction to 2Selfs Theory, we now proceed to the main article.

 

Overwhelming Evidence We Operate in Two Distinct Modes – We Have Two “Selfs”

 

The 2Selfs Revolution book provides details about 2Selfs Theory and lays out the case for why we need to launch the 2Selfs Revolution. It also examines currently intractable problems and the need for disruptive improvements in business, politics, and religions (limited to creationism and participation in defining and propagating shared positive values). I have received private helpful, comprehensive reviews of my 2Selfs Revolution book, and I realize how difficult it is to construct new problem-solving worldviews to make it possible to understand fundamentally new concepts, such as the many facets of auto-contexts. Some people have struggled to understand crucial aspects of my 2Selfs Revolution book because they viewed its contents from within the current Thinking-Self Age (a.k.a., the Modern West)worldview foundation. Accordingly, this article is a rather long introduction to the 2Selfs Revolution book put into a format that should cause 2Selfs Worldview to gradually and imperceptibly emerge within your auto-self. It also provides additional insights into automatic human activities and why we must now conquer them to resurrect the greatness of the West. Additionally, I include here three visualization mechanisms to help you understand the elusive nature of our auto-self and to advance the process of constructing 2Selfs Worldview within your auto-self (which requires repeated exposure, as with all worldviews) to empower you to understand 2Selfs Theory and the need for the 2Selfs Revolution.

 

Major Ways We Can Gain Insights into the Ubiquity and Relentlessly Escalating Importance of Automatic Human Activities

 

We have a growing list of mental-world (i.e. human activities including social systems and personal responsibilities) problems we cannot solve effectively, and we have many types of (indirect, shadowy) insights into mysterious (because the auto-self controls them) mental activities. It is not a huge stretch to figure out that these two issues may be related, and you will see in this article that learning to understand and manage the previously mysterious auto-self will finally empower us to start solving our growing list of intractable problems.

 

We in the West have played out our current path as long as we can of indirectly recognizing, poorly understanding, and at best haphazardly managing automatic human activities. In 1543, Nicholas Copernicus launched the West on its Science Revolution that produced a major overarching supraevolutionary ascent, which ended up about 2.3 centuries later emancipating the thinking-self from the mental prison it had occupied for the previous millennium. During the subsequent 2.4 centuries of our Thinking-Self Age, our emancipated thinking-self produced amazing advances in understanding and conquering the physical world through science, technology developments, and product creations.

 

During much of the same period as the Science Revolution, the European Enlightenment also led to great progress in the mental (human-activities) world. For the first two centuries of our Thinking-Self Age, our astonishing thinking-self capabilities produced great results in the mental world, including creating representative governments, market economies, and the social-systems aspects of three industrial revolutions that included the emergence of corporations and the rise of business schools and professional management techniques.

 

I owe you an explanation regarding why I am so adamant that we are in a mega-transition – in a mega-descent and not just in another of our periodic political, economic, or business cycles. What fundamentally could have changed in the world to cause such a gigantic transformation? Since it happened so suddenly, we can rule out evolutionary changes to human nature. The underlying, systemic cause of our current mega-descent is the Abilities Mismatch between how we understand and manage physical-world and mental-world problems and the tectonic collision of the runaway technology progress of the Third Industrial Revolution (built upon semiconductor-based digital technologies) and the mental-world ramifications of these massive physical-world advances. Because the West (along with other countries and cultures) failed to recognize and understand the importance of managing automatic human activities (i.e., the auto-self), we have failed until now to notice this systemic problem unleashed by the Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution. This Abilities Mismatch set off a time bomb with a very slow fuse at the beginning of the Modern West. While we can segment technology progress in many different ways, I follow here the sequence described by the World Economic Forum*

   First Industrial Revolution: 1785 – steam technologies

   Second Industrial Revolution: 1870 – electricity technologies

   Third Industrial Revolution: 1969 – digital technologies

   Fourth Industrial Revolution: 202x – cyber-physical technologies

For roughly the first two centuries of the Thinking-Self Age the technologies and products we developed during the first two industrial revolutions produced changes of a magnitude and rate that we could manage their human-activities ramifications. All of that started to change about four decades ago (about a decade into the Third Industrial Revolution) when unprecedented (year after year and decade after decade of increasing performance and lowering costs) progress occurred through the advent of integrated semiconductor circuits. That was when we started seeing small explosions occur from the Abilities Mismatch time bomb in terms of disappointing productivity gains in business (starting the growing angst of widespread inadequate improvements to standards of living) and growing dysfunction in our political systems. We need to focus explicit attention on this intersection between the Abilities Mismatch and the runaway progress in computing and communications technologies because these physical-world advances have created mental-world (social systems, including businesses and governing systems plus personal responsibilities) problems that we cannot solve adequately within our current worldview foundations. Finally, in 2016, the inevitable tipping point happened. The series of enough small explosions that we in the West noticed, but were not moved enough to take decisive actions, finally reached the point of two massive explosions in the political arena, which shook the very foundations of the greatness of the West. The Brexit and Trump election outcomes based on outlandish hyperbolic, empty promises with essentially zero plans to back them up, laid bare the level of manipulations we have now reached in our political systems, which are just the most glaring, visible signs of our current demise from greatness in the West.

* https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/navigating-the-next-industrial-revolution2/

 

This brings us to the central crises that I identify in the 2Selfs Revolution book and in most of the articles at this website, including this one – we in the West have started on a systemic mental devolution. We will not recover from our greatness decline unless we now emancipate our auto-self just as our predecessors emancipated our thinking-self and launched the Modern West (Thinking-Self Age). In 2Selfs Theory terms, we now must launch the 2Selfs Revolution to institute 2Selfs Age in order to resurrect the greatness of the West. However, that overarching supraevolutionary ascent for the West will be difficult for many of the same reasons that the Science/Enlightenment Revolution was very difficult for our cultural predecessors.

Sage Advice I Have Received

  

I have received advice on crucial topics related to 2Selfs Theory from people I respect who were kind enough to provide me with private, robust reviews of my 2Selfs Revolution book.

  1. Build on an existing view of our automatic activities. That will avoid introducing new vocabulary and make it possible to engage at least one profession.

  2. Stay away from politics and religion because those topics are always controversial and not conducive to enticing people to read about 2Selfs Theory.

  3. Do not suggest to university researchers focused on human activities that science is not the proper foundation to solve the problems they address because that will just annoy them and block them from paying any attention to you.

  4. Avoid adding a new mega-cycle analysis; instead, adopt one of the existing frameworks.

 

These four pieces of advice make perfect sense in a world where we are not facing a crisis. However, they imply that we shouldn’t disturb people’s worldviews because they will automatically resist and reject. That is true now just as it was when Copernicus took an action that turned out to be the initiating event of the Science Revolution. Of course, pointing out that people automatically resist revolutionary change, and giving historical samples, is also a devious argument for any harebrained scheme people invent. A major problem I face in sounding the alarm that we must understand and manage the auto-self is that you, my audience, need to have 2Selfs Worldview embedded within your auto-self to comprehensively understand 2Selfs Theory, and you need to understand and use 2Selfs Theory long enough until 2Selfs Worldview constructs within your auto-self. This process is so elusive that the West required over two centuries to bootstrap through that ordeal during the Worldview-Wars Age (a.k.a., the Science Revolution). However, in our current times of rapid technology-driven changes (and particularly with political meltdowns in some countries of the West starting with England and the US), we must shorten that timeframe by a couple of orders of magnitude. Therefore, to entice you to engage in the difficult process of discovering (or revealing) and challenging some of your fundamental worldviews (and certainty illusions and delusions), I need to convince you that indeed we are in a crisis and that some realities exist in our mental world that we have not understood and dealt with effectively in the past. In order to help guide you through that elusive process, I will employ some mental mechanisms that insightful people created long ago and relate them to our current situation. Later, I will explain why we cannot avoid engaging the above four topics – because they are at the heart of the transformation (supraevolutionary ascent) we now must launch.

 

Could We Really Have Totally Missed the Auto-Self?

 

If auto-self activities are as ubiquitous and crucial to our successes and well-being as I claim, then careful observers must have noticed them, at least indirectly, and created symbolic or fuzzy or indirect means of referring to them. And as you will now see, that has indeed happened. The auto-self is both elusive (it operates outside of our normal awareness) and illusive (its persistently operations often deceive us – i.e., our thinking-self). To overcome those formidable barriers, I will employ some mental devices such as parable, metaphor, allegory, idiom, and even jeu d'esprit (play of the mind) to shed light that creates insights into the existence of, and analogies to aid understanding the power of, the auto-self. Included in these devices, I use three big-picture visualization mechanisms to help you understand the auto-self and move you along the process of having 2Selfs Worldview construct automatically within your auto-self, which requires repeated exposure.

 

Three Visualization Mechanisms to Gain Insights into Automatic Human Activities

 

  1. The Blind Men and the Elephant Parable: Explicit recognition (often through metaphor) of two distinct human modes

  2. Plato’s Cave Allegory: Body idioms we use to identify discrete non-intentional (auto-self) human activities

  3. Flatland Jeu D'esprit: Commonly known complex non-intentional (auto-self) human activities

 

Visualization #1 into the Ubiquity of Automatic Human Activities

 

Can’t Make Heads or Tails of the Auto-Self?

The Blind Men and the Elephant

 

John Godfrey Saxe (1816 - 1887) wrote the following poem, which he based on an ancient parable. It illustrates how the particular way we interact with a topic or the particular view we have of it can greatly influence the realities we create in our minds about it. If we don’t have a viable view of the big picture, we are likely to draw erroneous conclusions based on the part of the whole problem (or topic) with which we are in contact. Each of the six inspired views in this poem gives an insightful but ultimately inadequate picture of what actually exists.

The following illustration uses our thinking-self icons to represent the blind men because our thinking-self “sees,” or understands, the world about us.

The Blind Men’s Constrained, Inadequate Views of Elephant

Relating the above Parable to Our Current Challenges

 

The value of 2Selfs Theory is not to alert the West that we operate in two distinct modes because other careful observers of human nature have already done that as identified below; 2Selfs Theory provides a generalized mental model of our automatic mode and systematic processes to transform auto-self characteristics to align with success, well-being, and values goals.

 

The people who developed the following six views, which are the first six insights into a second mode of the human mind identified in the Two Distinct Human Modes list below, are indeed “to learning much inclined” because they created penetrating theories and some of them developed improvement techniques. Yet, I claim they have the same type of blindness to the big picture as the blind men who tried to describe the elephant from encountering different parts of it. Indeed, their blindness is not to what they are working on; it is to the big picture that subsumes their approach as a piece of a more complete, overarching whole “elephant” that we model as our auto-self with 2Selfs Theory.

 

Overcoming Our Blind “I”
Current Visibility to the Auto-Self “Elephant in the Room”

There is an auto-self elephant in the room folks, and it’s high time we acknowledge that it is there and learn to understand and manage it because it’s stomping on our aspirations and it’s not going away. The above insights into the auto-self are but six of many ways careful observers have noticed that we operate in two distinct modes (or have two "selfs" in our current terms). The following list identifies a rich array of insights into the existence of the auto-self (shown using a fuzzy icon because each item identifies only a part of the auto-self) and shows comparisons to their thinking-self counterparts.

 

Explicit Recognition (Often Through Metaphor)
of Two Distinct Human Modes

 

Previous Keen Insights into Two Modes of Human Activities – Our 2Selfs

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

  2. Thinking, Fast and Slow

  3. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

  4. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

  5. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy – also, The Knowledge-Creating Company by Takeuchi and Nonaka

  6. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

  7. Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness

  8. Double-Loop Learning in Organizations

 

These insights into a second mode of human activities come from such varied areas as business, psychology, sociology, philosophy, science, decision theory, marketing/sales, law, and general-public metaphors.

 

Metaphors serve as indirect pointers (in 2Selfs Theory terms, using analogies to something we currently understand within a worldview we currently have embedded within our auto-self) to mysterious phenomena that we somehow recognize as important but do not yet have a worldview to enable us to understand deeply, a vocabulary to explain adequately, or processes to manage effectively. 2Selfs Theory provides the vocabulary, explanations, and improvement techniques, and 2Selfs Worldview establishes the understanding and problem-solving foundation to conquer the automatic mode of human activities.

 

Visualization #2 into the Ubiquity of Automatic Human Activities

When trying to understand the dual nature of the human mind and in particular the elusive auto-self, we can employ another powerful visualization mechanism that goes way back to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. In his Allegory of the Cave (The Republic), Plato described a scene where prisoners in a cave were looking at shadows on the wall. The shadows were of objects and people from outside the cave. The cave dwellers could hear the people outside the cave by their sounds bouncing off the cave wall. The cave dwellers were constrained so they could not turn around and see the actual people or objects. Their perceived reality consisted of the shadows. Plato pointed out that they lived in a constrained mental world of seeing only the shadows that create fuzzy images of real objects. He proposed that if they were freed and went outside the cave, they would not recognize the three-dimensional objects they then saw and would probably struggle valiantly to deny the actual reality they just encountered for the first time (that we now understand is due to the certainty illusion, a specific artifact of auto-contexts).

Body Idioms We Use to Identify Discrete Non-Intentional (Auto-Self) Human Activities

 

The human mind does not like having activities go on that it cannot explain, so we often make up stories about what causes observable phenomena even if these explanations are fanciful and can become downright dysfunctional because they serve to block us from searching for root causes and developing robust improvement processes. Thus, in pre-science days, people would routinely attribute such natural phenomenon as eclipses, comets, lightning, and earthquakes to the whims of deities. If we procrastinate and we don’t know why, we will normally create an excuse and pretend it is a reason. If people display an anger outburst and they don’t understand why, they will often blame it on some external factor. Humans seem compelled to create explanations for observed phenomena. When our auto-self creates a (unintentional, automatic) behavior and we don’t understand why or how it happens, we often use a body idiom to attribute the action to a particular non-involved body part in order to account for it.

 

Idioms are like vague images of something else. They are indirect ways to use familiar language to discuss something mysterious we notice but don’t yet understand. As such, these body idioms appear very much like Plato’s shadows of the real activities (auto-self characteristics) that we sometimes need to see directly and understand robustly so that we can manage them effectively. As the concepts pointed to by the metaphors and idioms become increasingly important, we need to gain direct access to the realities to which they indirectly refer so we can conquer them. As business and social complexity grows, and as fundamental change accelerates, it becomes untenable to try to achieve success through access only to the shadows of auto-self success drivers.

 

We often try to notice and understand our ubiquitous and sometimes domineering auto-self by looking at (and naming) the shadows of our auto-self activities. Your challenge now is to notice if your existing thinking-self-empowering worldview foundation will block you from recognizing and understanding the actual auto-self objects (as Plato predicted) after you have spent your life and career only looking at shadows of them.

When we use idioms that identify unrelated body parts, how do we make sense of that? This body-idiom mechanism seems normal to us because of the way we acquire language but when examined appears rather whimsical. Yet, somehow, we make sense of attributing these automatically executed activities to body parts that play no role in the activity because they are executed by the automatic part of our mind – our auto-self creates them. Here are some examples of using body idioms to describe auto-self activities.

 

Body Idioms We Use as Stand-Ins for Auto-Self Activities

 

  • Backbone: She had no backbone

  • Belly:

    • She has a fire in her belly

    • He is yellow bellied

  • Blood:

    • His blood was boiling

    • In cold blood

    • There is bad blood between them

    • Out for blood

  • Bones: I can feel it in my bones 

  • Butt: That guy is a real pain in the butt

  • Gut:

    • Gut feeling

    • Gut reaction

    • To have guts

    • Hate someone’s guts

  • Hair: Sam is always getting everyone’s hair

  • Head:

    • Bury your head in the sand

    • Bite someone's head off

  • Heart:

    • My heart wasn't in it

    • In my heart of hearts

    • My head says no but my heart says yes

    • Capture their hearts and minds (dichotomy #1 above)

    • Bleeding heart

    • Heart broken

    • Depraved-heart murder

  • Heel: He fell head over heels for her

  • Feet: She got cold feet as her wedding approached

  • Internal: (could be metaphors)

    • She needs to internalize it

    • Inner strength

    • Inner confidence 

    • Well-ingrained habit

  • Knee: Knee-jerk reaction

  • Muscle: Muscle memory

  • Neck:

    • She is a pain in the neck

    • Stick one's neck out

  • Nose:

    • He is such a hard-nosed so-and-so

    • She has a nose for it

  • Shoulder: Chip on your shoulder

  • Skin: She is so thin skinned

  • Spine: He was spineless

  • Stomach: I have no stomach for that

  • Thumb:

    • All thumbs

    • Rule of thumb

 

Now that you have seen at least an outline of 2Selfs Theory, we can identify the actual auto-self mechanisms that are responsible for the automatic activity referred by each body idiom. Because of the way we construct language into the auto-self, we will probably continue to use many of these body idioms as shorthand mechanism to refer to specific auto-self-created activities. However, in some cases, we will need to reconstruct the undesired underlying auto-self characteristic, and we can do that best when we understand the actual mental mechanism involved. This is another aspect of our ascent from a naïve access to our automatic activities on our way to conquering them as we rise to a higher, more mature supraevolution level of understanding and managing our auto-self activities. 

You already saw in the introduction material that 2Selfs Theory identifies four types of auto-self activities.

Four Types of Auto-Self Activities

Now, to understand in finer detail the auto-self properties that produce the activities identified by the above body idioms, we benefit from further breaking down auto-behaviors into four subtypes as follows.

 

Four Subtypes of Auto-Behaviors

We are now in a position to use our recognition of four types of auto-self activities and four subtypes of auto-behaviors to reveal the actual auto-self objects instead of just settling for dealing with their shadows in the form of body-part idioms.

  • Backbone: She had no backbone (quitter auto-behavior; lack of courage)

  • Belly:

    • She has a fire in her belly (doer auto-behavior – passion)

    • He is yellow bellied (quitter auto-behavior – timid, cowardly)

  • Blood:

    • His blood was boiling (abuser auto-behavior – angry)

    • In cold blood (abuser auto-behavior – acting ruthlessly)

    • There is bad blood between them (auto-contexts – mutual bad attitudes toward each other)

    • Out for blood (auto-context – bad attitude toward someone)

  • Bones: I can feel it in my bones (auto-expertise – insight)

  • Butt: That guy is a real pain in the butt (abuser auto-behavior – obnoxious behavior)

  • Gut:

    • Gut feeling (auto-expertise – insight)

    • Gut reaction (auto-expertise – insight; or doer auto-behavior – impulsive action)

    • To have guts (doer auto-behavior – courage; willingness to take risks)

    • Hate someone’s guts (auto-context – hatred)

  • Hair: Sam is always getting everyone’s hair (abuser auto-behavior – habitual unwelcome behavior)

  • Head:

    • Bury your head in the sand (auto-context – the certainty illusion)

    • Bite someone's head off (abuser auto-behavior – aggressiveness)

  • Heart:

    • My heart wasn't in it (quitter auto-behavior – ambivalence)

    • In my heart of hearts (auto-context – deep or treasured belief)

    • My head says no but my heart says yes (struggle between thinking-self and auto-self)

    • Capture their hearts and minds (induce auto-self beliefs and thinking-self agreement)

    • Bleeding heart (auto-context – excessively sympathetic towards other people or issues)

    • Heartbroken (cherished auto-context violated – often requires reconstruction)

    • Depraved-heart murder (abuser auto-behavior; auto-context-based bad attitude)

  • Heel: He fell head over heels for her (auto-context construction)

  • Feet: She got cold feet as her wedding approached (quitter auto-behavior – fear)

  • Internal:

    • She needs to internalize it (migrate it from a thought to an auto-context)

    • Inner strength (doer auto-behavior – routinely able to handle tough activities)

    • Inner confidence (auto-context – high self-esteem or estimate of one’s abilities)

    • Well-ingrained habit (auto-behavior)

  • Knee: Knee jerk reaction (auto-behavior response without any thought)

  • Muscle: Muscle memory (auto-skill)

  • Neck:

    • She is a pain in the neck (abuser auto-behavior – habitual obnoxious behavior)

    • Stick one's neck out (doer auto-behavior – courage)

  • Nose:

    • He is such a hard-nosed so-and-so (abuser auto-behavior – habitually tough or abrasive)

    • She has a nose for it (auto-expertise – insight)

  • Shoulder: Chip on your shoulder (auto-context – attitude; resentful about something)

  • Skin: She is so thin skinned (abuser auto-behavior – habitually gets upset easily)

  • Spine: He was spineless (quitter auto-behavior – lacks courage)

  • Stomach: I have no stomach for that (quitter auto-behavior – can’t tolerate discomfort)

  • Thumb:

    • All thumbs (auto-skills – poor auto-skill on some activity)

    • Rule of thumb (auto-expertise – decision without explicit calculation)

 

Did these revelations about the actual auto-self objects casting shadows that appear as idioms associated with unrelated body parts empower you to transcend to a level where you can start to understand, instead of reject, the nature of the automatic human activities involved?

 

Visualization #3 into the Ubiquity of Automatic Human Activities

 

A New "Dimension" for Solving Problems and Maintaining Values

 

The first visualization mechanism gave several examples where others have directly identified two distinct modes of human activities and thereby (mostly indirectly) recognized two distinct mental modes (or two “selfs”). I used the ancient parable of the blind men and the elephant, a poem describing their experiences, a couple of visual metaphors, and a long list of two-mode insights (some using metaphors to alert us to something mysterious we need to deal with). I did that to drive home the point that in many ways we do indeed, albeit sometimes indirectly, recognize the existence of automatic human activities – the auto-self.

 

The second visualization process gave a long (rather fanciful when you think about it) list of body-part idioms that indirectly stand in for specific auto-self characteristics. Many of these idioms, such as “to have guts” or “she has a nose for it,” are just shorthand ways to describe aspects a person’s personality or automatic abilities and don’t need better understanding. However, other body idioms, such as “my head says no but my heart says yes” or “she is so thin skinned,” indicate auto-self characteristics where it might be best to understand the underlying mental mechanism involved and have access to systematic processes to transform them. I employed Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to help us understand that these body-idioms are only shadows of actual auto-self mechanisms, many of which we need to understand and manage.

 

This third visualization opportunity will employ physical dimensions as analogies to the number of top-level or overarching worldviews for whole societies, and in our case particularly for the West. The following illustrations show variants of three “dimensions” of human mental activities. The left diagram is the one we will mostly use because it shows the three worldviews that will exist in 2Selfs Age. The middle diagram represents the “worlds” these worldviews manage. The right diagram represents the type of mental activities each dimension impacts.

                                    

Three Different Views of the Three “Dimensions” of Human Realities

Worldviews
constructed

"Worlds"
managed

Mental activities
impacted

Commonly Known Complex Non-Intentional (Auto-Self) Human Activities

 

This third visualization penetrates further into more-complex mental-world activities by providing a long list of currently mysterious human activities, many of which cause significant problems or offer potential opportunities for targeted supraevolutionary ascents when we understand and manage the underlying auto-self mechanisms involved. Here, I use the 19th century jeu d'esprit of entities living in different physical dimensions in Edwin Abbott’s book, Flatland, to penetrate by analogy into the immensely important nature of worldview foundations that control our ability to think about, understand, and manage currently mysterious activities of great and escalating importance to us.

 

Us citizens of the Thinking-Self Age can look back at the Mental-Prison Age (the period starting in the fourth century when the overarching worldview foundation was reduced to a single authority-based [supernatural] worldview) in amazement that our ancestors could have stagnated for an astonishing millennium believing everything in the physical (and mental) world happened through supernatural agency. That worldview-based blindness to the natural world about us blocked prosperity, well-being, longevity, freedoms, and values progress that we take for granted today. No wonder historians refer to much of this period as the “Dark Ages.” I now confidently predict that people in 2Selfs Age, in the near future, will look back at us at the end of the Thinking-Self Age with equal astonishment that we could have failed to understand and manage automatic human activities in spite of growing problem this oversight is creating and opportunities for a grander life this failure is blocking. This inability to manage our automatic mode (our auto-self) creates the same magnitude of barrier to progress as did the previous inability to manage our thinking mode (our thinking-self) did during the Mental-Prison Age. You can gain greater understanding of this topic if you read the 2Selfs Revolution book. For now, I present this third mental mechanism to provide you insights into the difficulties associated with supraevolutionary ascents, especially for our culture-wide worldview foundations.

 

For decades, I have used the narrative in Flatland as an allegory to help people understand the nature of overarching worldview foundations, how elusive they are when viewed from another top-level worldview foundation, and how they enable and disable our ability to understand and manage issues of importance to us. However, I also found that many people couldn’t use the allegory effectively unless I explicitly drew the relevant analogies for them. Therefore, I offer you the following table that identifies the insight-producing relationships, and then I will lead you through my annotations of an abridged version of Flatland.

 

Overview of the Relationship between Abbott’s Physical Dimensions and Supraevolution Mental "Dimensions"

* Number of top-level worldviews (corresponding to Abbott’s physical dimensions)

† Worldview levels of effectiveness

  0. No worldview – does not effectively solve problems, create/maintain values

  1. Mentally Diverting (simplistic solutions)

  2. Mentally Enabling (helpful empirical theories without root-cause foundations)

  3. Mentally Empowering (root-cause theories)

 

I hope that you easily understand most of the entries in the table. The one entry that will likely cause confusion is the 2→1 designation at the intersection of science and the mental world during the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age. Science (or in more general terms, secular thinking-self-based processes operating within a thinking-self-empowering worldview foundation) did not suddenly get worse at solving mental-world (human-activities) problems during this period. Instead, the problems in the mental world needing solutions (driven by progress in the physical world built upon digital technologies) overwhelmed techniques available within the Thinking-Self Age worldview foundation. That Abilities Mismatch is the underlying, systemic source of our current demise from greatness and illustrates the critical need to conquer the auto-self now in order to resurrect the greatness of the West.

 

I note here that the levels of effectiveness of worldview foundations also normally correspond with the phases of development we work through as we encounter a new type of problem, and that should not surprise us. When we encounter a new type of problem, we normally start out with no worldview, then we create (mentally diverting) simplistic solutions (phase or level 1, or Φ1 for short), then as we fail to solve a critical problem, penetrating thinkers start creating (mentally enabling) empirically based Φ2 worldviews and their corresponding improvement processes. These normally produce viable but often inadequate results. Finally, as the need for better solutions increases, researchers often eventually penetrate to a (mentally empowering) root-cause, Φ3 worldview that creates better understanding that can lead to extremely effective improvement processes. To help you understand levels of effectiveness and the corresponding phases we often work through when we encounter new problems, I provide for you later in this article the surprising revelation of a sequence of business practices that operate within Φ1 to Φ3 worldviews. That might seem out of place for you because business schools and business leaders have been addressing business-management problems for a very long time, so why look at phases now when we are supposed to go through those when we encounter “new” problems? That analysis will present further evidence that we are indeed now facing new problems due to the ramifications of the collision of the Abilities Mismatch with the rise of spectacular progress with physical-world technologies, which started creating new mental-world (including for businesses) problems four decades ago.

 

The Many Barriers to Understanding the Auto-Self

 

Auto-Behaviors: We have identified four types of auto-self activities. At this website and in the 2Selfs Revolution book, we focus on auto-behaviors and auto-contexts as the two most important auto-self types that are causing our current demise from greatness and that provide the biggest opportunity to resurrect our greatness. The previous section also identified four subtypes of auto-behaviors and indicated the roles they play in those auto-self activities we identify indirectly by their shadowy body idioms. We also have identified that the focus for us with respect to auto-behaviors is the Comfort Imperative that plays a key role in external manipulations through seduction traps often in the form of (Φ1) simplistic solutions. Additionally, we succumb to internal manipulations in the form of evasion gimmicks. We automatically fall prey to both of these auto-behavior-driven mechanisms to avoid or escape discomfort no matter how detrimental to our successes and well-being.

 

Auto-Contexts: We now move to the third visualization mechanism of this article, which uses the space-dimensions of an allegorical Flatland to provide insights into a crucial auto-context mechanism – worldviews. I don’t think I could possibly overstate the importance of auto-contexts to our future successes, improved standards of living, well-being, and values. This section should give you insights into the enormous importance of recognizing, understanding, and managing many forms of auto-contexts, with particular focus on worldviews in this case. I consider the best previous work on worldviews to be Thomas Kuhn’s book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, written a half-century ago. Kuhn’s term was “paradigms” and he confined his potent insights into revolutionary science progress, which in 2Selfs Theory terms means establishing a new worldview in a particular science discipline. 2Selfs Theory extends Kuhn’s work beyond science to any discipline and situates worldviews within a particular, previously opaque, part of the human mind – the auto-self and in particular within the auto-context type of the auto-self activities. Worldviews (paradigms) operate behind-the-scenes to frame the way we understand and can solve problems effectively in the world about us. This includes science, as per Kuhn, but 2Selfs Theory also addresses worldview impacts (control!) on other aspects of human activities including business, politics, religion, economics, and values. At the top level of societies, worldviews determine the concepts we are able to understand and manage as a country and even as a widespread culture including the West. Therefore, it follows that overarching cultural worldviews determine the supraevolution level of a society. I employ the Flatland allegory here to provide a mechanism to help you visualize the extreme difficulty (indeed, normally the impossibility) of understanding and managing crucial activities at a higher supraevolution level when we are trapped in a lower level. It also helps you realize how difficult it is to understand the mental limitations of a lower supraevolution level once we have constructed and propagated a new top-level worldview that empowers us to operate at a higher supraevolution level. The 2Selfs Revolution book describes these problems in greater detail.

 

Flatland: The allegory Abbott spins in his book Flatland allows us to draw insightful analogies between the physical dimensions he guides us through and top-level supraevolution "dimensions" as determined by the overarching worldview foundations that a society becomes able to create and propagate. Our current situation is analogous to Abbott’s Flatland world where our overarching supraevolution level has two “dimensions” or in our case two overarching worldviews – religions and science (more generally, thinking-self-based secular problem solving, including science). As you work your way through understanding the journey of the progress of humans from the equivalent of Pointland (the emergence of the human species) to Lineland (the universe operates through supernatural agency only) to Flatland (the emancipation of the thinking-self), you will watch unfold the slow-motion maturation of the human species. Now, finally, as we struggle to acquire the insights and try to summon the courage to make the supraevolutionary ascent to Spaceland, you will have the opportunity to participate in the next supraevolutionary ascent of the human species as we emancipate the auto-self.

 

Adding to (Constructing), Not Replacing (Reconstructing), Worldview Foundations: The amazing progression from the Mental-Prison Age through the Worldview-Wars Age to the Thinking-Self Age and finally to 2Selfs Age has the amazing fortuitous property that it has been mostly cumulative. That is, the religious, supernatural worldview foundation that characterized the Mental-Prison Age remained viable, with a reduced domain of application, throughout the Thinking-Self Age where the West leveraged the latent capabilities of the thinking-self to conquer the physical world and make significant progress in the mental world, thus establishing the greatness of the Modern West. Now, as we move to resurrect the greatness of the West by making a new supraevolutionary ascent, we will once again experience a cumulative effect of worldview foundations where we retain the two dimensions of the Thinking-Self Age (science, religions worldviews) and add to them the third dimension of 2Selfs Age (2Selfs Worldview). This is analogous to reaching a higher, third dimension of Spaceland in the Flatland allegory while retraining the two dimensions of Flatland.

 

Before leading you through my annotations of an abridged version of Flatland, I pause to identify many additional auto-self activities, so you can better understand the magnitude of the problems we now face.

Crucial Topics That We Cannot Understand Effectively and Manage Systematically within the Constraints of the Thinking-Self Age (our Flatland)

 

You have already seen a list of many ways careful observers have identified two distinct modes of human activities. You have also seen a long list of body idioms we use to identify many discrete auto-self activities. This third list identifies additional auto-self activities that represent more-complex auto-self-based human activities that we need to address explicitly. You may not have thought of these activities as involuntary, but think about how much intentional (i.e., thinking-self-initiated) control you and others have over these activities. How would you previously have explained that, if you even noticed the involuntary nature of these activities? They are mostly non-intentional because the auto-self plays the decisive role in controlling them. Isn’t it about time we learn to understand and manage our auto-self that exercises so much involuntary control over our daily activities and our successes and well-being?

Many examples of complex auto-self activities:

 

Prejudice

Phobias

Empathy

Arrogance

Narcissism

Attitudes

Hubris

Anger outbursts

Road rage

Behavior/habit change

Charisma

Charlatanism

Con games

Patriotism

Enduring, shared values

Manipulations (discomfort-based)

  • Seduction traps; simplistic solutions

  • Evasion gimmicks

  • Vulnerability to deliberate stoking of discomfort

  • “Sustainable success” pretending for businesses

Manipulations (auto-context-based)

  • Cult conversions (sects-change operations :-))

  • Political branding/propaganda

  • Big Lies and other forms of persistent disinformation

  • A second, untethered form of “truth”

  • Creation “science” (creationism)

  • “Sustainable success” certainty illusions for business

Inability to reverse cult conversions

Jury manipulation (emotional vs. fact appeal)

Voter manipulations (discomfort and auto-context based)

Indoctrination

Status quo

Inability to make culture changes

Paradigms

Self-images

Obsessions

Compulsions

Recovery from compulsions (e.g., AA/12-step programs)

Psychosomatic illnesses

Placebo cures

Self-awareness

Tacit/implicit knowledge

"Born again" experiences

Lie detector tests

“Soft” success factors in business

The “box” as in “thinking outside the box”

Product branding

Advertising that does not mention any product attributes

Subconscious; unconscious

Argyris’ double-loop learning

Leadership; leadership development

Mind wandering; daydreaming

“Doing” or executing consistently

Procrastination; habitual barriers to some actions

Compulsive micromanaging

Compulsive disruptive behaviors

Gardner's "multiple intelligences"

Goleman’s “emotional intelligence”

Motivation, passionate drive toward success

Classical conditioning (Pavlov’s dogs)

Operant conditioning (B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism)

Ineffectiveness of convict rehabilitation

Language understanding and generation

Expertise: intuition; hunches; gut feelings

Handling multiple routine tasks simultaneously

Beliefs (patriotic, religious, economic, political...)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (& other self-help)

Skills (sports, music, driving, flying, public speaking)

Nonverbal communications (expressions, gestures…)

Revolutionary science, innovation, strategy formation…

Transmission of "memes" (e.g., "bless you" for sneezes)

The Challenge of the Next Overarching Supraevolutionary Ascent of the West

 

The above list identifies many auto-self issues, a few of which we currently manage well enough or are not crucial to our successes and well-being, but many of which have now reached the point where they are causing (or at least contributing to) our demise from greatness in the West (along with many personal problems). When you read through my annotations of the abridged version of Flatland, you should acquire new insights into how excruciatingly difficult it is to visualize, much less comprehensively understand and usefully manage, topics outside of our current suite of (auto-self-based) worldviews. That is true in general, but it is massively true with respect to our society-wide overarching worldview foundations.

 

In his book, Abbott describes the conceptual difficulty of trying to explain the Spaceland (analogous to my current challenge of trying to explain 2Selfs Age to you) world to inhabitants of Flatland (analogous to your current worldview foundation as a citizen of the Thinking-Self Age). He also explains how even mentioning the possible existence of Spaceland was considered heresy for which he was caught and imprisoned for life (I omit this segment in my abridged version of Flatland to keep it shorter, but you get the point). Thus, he faced the choice of accepting continued mental imprisonment or risking physical imprisonment. That should not happen this time as long as we can retain our freedoms until we successfully launch the 2Selfs Revolution. However, many persecutions did occur during the over two-century-long Worldview-Wars-Age battle while the West went through the painful process of ascending from Lineland (the Mental-Prison Age) to Flatland (our Thinking-Self Age). Cries of heresy were widespread from within the Catholic Church and many leaders of the growing Protestant sects. Infamous among the persecutions were the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno and the forced recantation, under threat of torture, of the famous astronomer (and experimental science pioneer) Galileo of the conclusions he drew from his direct telescope observations of the changing phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter (negating the assertion of a geocentric universe). The risk of persecution when trying to escape the “Lineland” model of the universe was so great that Copernicus waited until he was on his deathbed to publish his treaties on a heliocentric solar system (universe to him).

 

With what we now understand, we can see why it took over two centuries to establish the Thinking-Self Age that emancipated our massively powerful latent thinking-self abilities. First, it is an extremely difficult human process to conceptualize and then propagate a new overarching worldview foundation (akin to the inability of residents of any dimension from the book Flatland to visualize the existence of a world with an additional dimension). Second, the auto-context-based certainty-illusion process causes (forces!) us believe deeply that our current worldviews are correct or “true.” Since that is the case for all of our worldviews including in science, business, politics, religion, economics, our self-image, our attitudes, and our values, we should expect the certainty-illusion process would create an overwhelming barrier to supraevolutionary ascents, and that is especially true for top-level society-wide worldviews. That is no doubt a major contributor to why they are so rare and only occur when the need finally becomes overwhelming (as it is now!). As if that was not enough, the Comfort Imperative creates an additional form of interference because trying to think outside of our current embedded worldviews (colloquially, thinking outside the “box” – another weak metaphor that we can now can see points to worldviews) creates significant discomfort within us. That causes us to become vulnerable to external manipulations – often in the form of simplistic solutions (a common seduction-trap mechanism) – and to our own internal evasion gimmicks that we compulsively use to escape discomfort independent of the impact that has on our successes and well-being. To make matters worse, cries of “heresy,” threats of persecutions, and actual persecutions blocked our escape from Lineland (our Mental-Prison Age) to Flatland (our Thinking-Self Age). Even if you gain insight and create a thinking-self intention to understand 2Selfs Theory, you may end up losing unfair fights with certainty illusions and the Comfort Imperative until you stay with the process long enough so that 2Selfs Worldview forms within your auto-self.

 

You should now have new insights into the difficult challenges we all face because in order to resurrect the greatness of the West, we must now escape our Flatland (Thinking-Self Age) and make an ascent to the higher dimension of Spaceland (the supraevolutionary ascent to 2Selfs Age), and we face all of the above barriers except persecution. Additionally, we have now added the more recent disadvantage of relentless technology-enhanced manipulations as best exemplified in the political arena. However, we now have the tremendous advantage of the progress we made during the Worldview-Wars Age and Thinking-Self Age including our greatly increased understanding of human nature and our now-long-term reliance on secular processes to solve new problems as they arise for us. We also are accustomed to living in times of rapid changes, and we should now all understand that we have started on a power dive for which we face two radically different alternative futures. We will either continue to descend into the Manipulation Age or we will muster the courage and summon the tenacity to launch the 2Selfs Revolution to ascend to 2Selfs Age and another long and glorious period of Western greatness.

 

Following is my explanation of the analogy between the different physical dimensions of the Flatland book and the equivalent mental problem-solving dimensions (supraevolution levels) as produced by the worldviews we invent and propagate. I read Flatland in my youth, long before I created 2Selfs Theory, and it was one of the mechanisms that gave me early insights into my growing interest in the possible existence and elusiveness of automatic human activities. I think you might also find it illuminating. Even more empowering, along with the material associated with the parable of the blind men and the elephant and with Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, this annotated Flatland allegory could produce another step in the slow, opaque construction of 2Selfs Worldview within your auto-self, thus making automatic human activities become more accessible for you. Unlike the previous two visualization mechanisms that addressed the auto-self in general, this one directly addresses auto-contexts and particularly in the form of understanding, problem-solving, and supraevolution-control and worldviews.

 

Flatland

 

Now we can have some fun. This is a verbatim, highly abridged excerpt from a book written by Edwin A. Abbott in 1884 entitled Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. If one can get by the 19th century gross sexism (most of which I excised), there are great insights in this Flatland story, which provides a powerful allegory that helps us understand both the elusiveness and the power of automatic human activities.

 

As I do with other articles at this website that analyze books that (indirectly) address auto-self success factors, such as the ones on “sustainable success” (The Halo Effect) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, I annotate specific relevant passages in Flatland. In my other analyses, I direct my comments toward identifying where their penetrating observations can become even more effective when viewed from within 2Selfs Worldview and when applying 2Selfs Theory to make some of the key points more explicit at the auto-self level. My analysis of Flatland takes the opposite approach. This time, I annotate selected segments to help you gain insights into how difficult it is to understand a fundamentally new concept such as the auto-self. The metaphoric term for this is “thinking outside the box.” The 2Selfs Theory term is trying to understand the topic without having an (auto-context-based) empowering worldview. In this case, the problem is extremely challenging because we are focusing on the top-level worldviews of a whole culture – the West.

 

The bolded chapter titles are from Flatland and the numbers before the titles are the chapter numbers from that book. As with the other books I analyze, [my comments are in brackets].

 

1. Of the Nature of Flatland

 

I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers. [The 2Selfs Theory analogy to Flatland is the current situation in which we find ourselves, which I refer to as the end of our Thinking-Self Age].

 

Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows – only hard and with luminous edges – and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. [In our case, imagine such shadowy insights as “soft” success factors, thinking outside the “box,” “heart,” and “status quo” and you will then have a pretty correct notion of our Thinking-Self Age access to auto-self activities.] Alas, a few years ago, I should have said "my universe": but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things. [Has your mind been opened yet to a more explicit view of auto-self activities and the critical need to manage them? In 2Selfs Theory terms, has 2Selfs Worldview formed enough for you as you work your way through this article so that the existence and nature of automatic human activities are starting to become apparent to you (since we cannot view our auto-contexts directly, that is how you will recognize when 2Selfs Worldview is beginning to inculcate into your auto-self)? Is 2Selfs Theory starting to become more compelling for you? If not, this allegory should move the process along and you might possibly experience an epiphany of clearly visualizing automatic human activities.]

 

In such a country, you will perceive at once that it is impossible that there should be anything of what you call "solid" kind; but I dare say you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures, moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, to us, except Straight Lines. [The type of visibility that concerns us is not what we see through our eyes but rather direct, explicit access to topics we need to understand and problems we must solve. We had been enormously successful throughout the Thinking-Self Age because during the Science/Enlightenment Revolution, the West (indirectly) constructed a worldview that provides the foundation to understand and solve problems very effectively for the physical world and somewhat effectively for the mental (human-activities) world. In our problem-solving world, our ability to understand and manage activities depends on having constructed empowering auto-context-based worldviews. You might think that since worldviews are so crucial to our successes, well-being, and values that we would at least by now have created a worldview that would empower us to understand worldviews and some of their properties including their domains of effectiveness and their levels of effectiveness. On the contrary, within the worldviews of the Thinking-Self Age we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one worldview from another. Nothing was understandable, nor could be understandable except the physical world and some limited aspects of our mental world to work on problems that we can solve by mastering our thinking-self.]

 

13. How I had a Vision of Lineland

 

It was the last day but one of the 1999th year of our era. Having amused myself till a late hour with my favourite recreation of Geometry, I had retired to rest with an unsolved problem in my mind. In the night I had a dream. [This is where the Flatland narrator (equivalent to us in the Thinking-Self Age) tries to get a citizen of Lineland (our equivalent of the Mental-Prison Age) to understand the existence of another dimension to reality. This look into our past helps set up the analogous problem we now face of trying to understand the three dimensions of Spaceland (three overarching worldviews of 2Selfs Age) from the two-dimensional constraints (two overarching worldviews) of Flatland (our current Thinking-Self Age) perspective.]

 

I saw before me a vast multitude of small Straight Lines (which I naturally assumed to be Women) interspersed with other Beings still smaller and of the nature of lustrous points – all moving to and fro in one and the same Straight Line, and, as nearly as I could judge, with the same velocity.

 

Approaching one of the largest of what I thought to be Women, I accosted her, but received no answer. A second and a third appeal on my part were equally ineffectual. Losing patience at what appeared to me intolerable rudeness, I brought my mouth into a position full in front of her mouth so as to intercept her motion, and loudly repeated my question, "Woman, what signifies this concourse, and this monotonous motion to and fro in one and the same Straight Line?"

 

"I am no Woman," replied the small Line: "I am the Monarch of the world. But thou, whence intrudest thou into my realm of Lineland?" [Now we enter the Lineland (one-dimensional) geometrical world that is equivalent to our Mental-Prison Age, which consisted of a single overarching religion worldview that caused everything to appear as supernatural. Thus, there was no natural physical world and no natural mental world. The physical world and human activities all appeared to proceed through supernatural agency.] Receiving this abrupt reply, I begged pardon if I had in any way startled or molested his Royal Highness; and describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. [In my 2Selfs Revolution book, I examine how difficult it would be for those of us living in the Thinking-Self Age with our two overarching worldviews of secular problem-solving and a large set of religions, which is our equivalent to Flatland, to understand what life would have been like in the Mental Prison (Lineland) Age with only a religion worldview.] However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts:

[The following segment gives symbolic insight into how difficult it was for citizens during the Science Revolution (which I also refer to as the Worldview-Wars Age for reasons that should now be obvious to you) to understand the realities of the natural world. We can see that struggle most clearly when we follow the sequence from Copernicus (geocentric to heliocentric universe – 1543) to Tycho Brahe (precise observations of planetary motions) to Kepler (elliptical planetary orbits) to Galileo (telescope observations of phases of Venus and moons of Jupiter) to Newton (gravitational theory of planetary orbits – 1687). During most of this period, a massive number of citizens of the West including most religion leaders remained trapped in the biblical geocentric universe worldview that blocked them from seeing the growing realities that nascent science was progressively revealing about the physical universe.]

It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch – as he called himself – was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space [possible human realities]. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line [supernatural beliefs], he had no conception of anything out of it. Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; all was non-existent. [And, such was the case for over a millennium during the Mental-Prison Age where all outside of supernatural religious beliefs was a blank to most citizens; the natural world was nonexistent.]

 

It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point to the eye of a Linelander.

 

Permit me to point out that your life in Lineland [the Mental-Prison Age] must be deplorably dull. To see [understand and experience] nothing but a Point [religion]! Not even to be able to contemplate a Straight Line [physical and human nature]! Nay, not even to know what a Straight Line [the natural world] is! Better surely to have no sense of sight at all than to see so little [lack a worldview to empower you (i.e., your thinking-self) to solve crucial prosperity and well-being problems]! Just before I came into your kingdom, I saw you dancing from left to right, and then from right to left. "It is correct," said the King, "though I know not what you mean by 'right' and 'left'." "I suppose it is your way of saying Northward and Southward."

 

"Not so," replied I; "besides your motion of Northward and Southward [your religious-beliefs worldview], there is another motion which I call from right to left" [the secular worldview that emancipates your thinking-self to solve crucial problems].

 

King. Exhibit to me, if you please, this motion from left to right [this “natural” world you speak of].

 

I. Nay, that I cannot do, unless you could step out of your Line altogether. [Unless you relinquish your “everything occurs through supernatural agency” worldview – a transformation that took over two centuries to establish throughout the West.]

 

King. Out of my Line? Do you mean out of the [spiritual] world? Out of Space [out of the universe that God omnisciently understands and omnipotently controls]?

 

I. Well, yes. Out of your World. Out of your Space [Out of your supernatural-only worldview]. For your Space is not the true Space. True Space is a Plane; but your Space is only a Line [i.e., you can keep your religious worldview to cope with perennial challenges of the human condition, but to make prosperity, well-being, health, longevity, freedoms, and values progress, you must add a secular problem-solving worldview].

 

King. If you cannot indicate this motion from left to right by yourself moving in it, then I beg you to describe it to me in words.

 

I. If you cannot tell your right side from your left [cannot recognize that there is a natural physical world], I fear that no words of mine can make my meaning clear to you. But surely you cannot be ignorant of so simple a distinction.

 

King. I do not in the least understand you.

 

I. Alas! How shall I make it clear? When you move straight on [see the universe in supernatural terms], does it not sometimes occur to you that you could move in some other way [that there may be natural forces at work in the world that we humans can understand and manage]?

 

King. Never. And what do you mean?

I. Well then, since words cannot explain the matter, I will try deeds, and will move gradually out of Lineland in the direction which I desire to indicate to you.

 

At the word I began to move my body out of Lineland. As long as any part of me remained in his dominion and in his view, the King kept exclaiming, "I see you, I see you still; you are not moving." But when I had at last moved myself out of his Line, he cried in his shrillest voice, "She is vanished; she is dead." "I am not dead," replied I; "I am simply out of Lineland, that is to say, out of the Straight Line [Mental-Prison Age for all and Worldview-Wars Age for many] which you call Space, and in the true Space [our Thinking-Self Age], where I can see things as they are. And at this moment I can see your Line, or side – or inside as you are pleased to call it; and I can see also the Men and Women on the North and South of you, whom I will now enumerate, describing their order, their size, and the interval between each."

 

When I had done this at great length, I cried triumphantly, "Does that at last convince you?" And, with that, I once more entered Lineland, taking up the same position as before.

 

But the Monarch replied, "If you were a Man of sense – though, as you appear to have only one voice I have little doubt you are not a Man but a Woman – but, if you had a particle of sense, you would listen to reason. You ask me to believe that there is another Line [another mental dimension created by a new secular, science worldview] besides that which my senses indicate, and another motion besides that of which I am daily conscious [i.e., the supernatural world]. I, in return, ask you to describe in words or indicate by motion that other Line of which you speak. Instead of moving, you merely exercise some magic art of vanishing and returning to sight; and instead of any lucid description of your new World, you simply tell me the numbers and sizes of some forty of my retinue, facts known [through varying sounds] to any child in my capital. [This is like pointing out the occasional retrograde motions of planets during the Mental-Prison Age and suggesting maybe that implies the planets orbit the sun instead of the earth as revealed in the higher “dimension” of a secular problem-solving worldview to understand the physical world. In our current case, this is akin to pointing to metaphors and body idioms and trying to explain they are but shadows of auto-self activities that we can understand in the higher “dimension” of 2Selfs Worldview”]. Can anything be more irrational or audacious? Acknowledge your folly or depart from my dominions." The King came closer, when I awoke to find the breakfast-bell recalling me to the realities of Flatland.

 

15. Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland

 

[The previous discussion illustrated how inhabitants of Lineland could not understand the realities of Flatland. By analogy, I used that allegory to help us understand why the inhabitants of the Mental-Prison Age and a large number of inhabitants of the Worldview-Wars Age were trapped within a single overarching supernatural (and inerrant Bible) worldview that prevented them from understanding and managing the natural world. Now we transition to the next part of the Flatland book where the narrator in two-dimensional Flatland (analogous to our current Thinking-Self Age with two overarching worldviews: science and religions) struggles to understand the realities of three-dimensional Spaceland (analogous to our 2Selfs Age with three overarching worldviews: science, 2Selfs, and religions). We find ourselves in that difficult situation today, and you must deal with this opaque barrier as you continue reading this article].

 

From dreams I proceed to facts.

 

It was the last day of the 1999th year of our era. The pattering of the rain had long ago announced nightfall; and I was sitting in the company of my wife, musing on the events of the past and the prospects of the coming year, the coming century, the coming Millennium.

 

Straightway I became conscious of a Presence in the room, and a chilling breath thrilled through my very being. I should have thought it a Circle, only that it seemed to change its size in a manner impossible for a Circle or for any regular Figure of which I had had experience.

 

I glanced at the half-hour glass. The last sands had fallen. The third Millennium had begun. [Abbott wrote this in the 19th century, and we just missed by about two decades launching our entry into his Spaceland (i.e., our 2Selfs Revolution that will create 2Selfs Age) at the turn of the millennium as his story presciently, if only symbolically, narrates]..

 

16: How the Stranger vainly endeavoured to reveal to me in words the mysteries of Spaceland

 

I began to approach the Stranger with the intention of taking a nearer view and of bidding him be seated: but his appearance struck me dumb and motionless with astonishment. Without the slightest symptoms of angularity he nevertheless varied every instant with gradations of size and brightness scarcely possible for any Figure within the scope of my experience.

 

Stranger. Are you not introduced to me yet?

 

I. Before your Lordship enters into further communications, would he deign to satisfy the curiosity of one who would gladly know whence his Visitor came?

 

Stranger. From Space, from Space, Sir: whence else?

[This is where you should start seeing the analogy of this intrusion from Spaceland to our indirect intrusions of the auto-self. You see these intrusions in the forms of grasping blindly at parts of the auto-self robot (elephant!) such as “heart” and “right brain.” You also see intrusions in the form of shadowy human activities that we identify through metaphors, such as “soft” and “box,” and body idioms, such as “she had no backbone,” “he is yellow bellied,” and “knee-jerk reaction.”]

I. Pardon me, my Lord, but is not your Lordship already in Space, your Lordship and his humble servant, even at this moment?

 

Stranger. Pooh! what do you know of Space? Define Space.

 

I. Space, my Lord, is height and breadth indefinitely prolonged.

 

Stranger. Exactly: you see you do not even know what Space is. You think it is of Two Dimensions only [science (or in more general terms, secular thinking-self-empowering problem-solving) and religions worldviews]; but I have come to announce to you a Third – height, breadth, and length [and I have come to announce to you a Third reality “dimension” – 2Selfs Worldview, which we will now add to our science and religions worldviews].

 

I. Your Lordship is pleased to be merry. We also speak of length and height, or breadth and thickness, thus denoting Two Dimensions by four names.

 

Stranger. But I mean not only three names, but Three Dimensions.

 

I. Would your Lordship indicate or explain to me in what direction is the Third Dimension, unknown to me?

 

Stranger. I came from it. It is up above and down below.

 

I. My Lord means seemingly that it is Northward and Southward.

 

Stranger. I mean nothing of the kind. I mean a direction in which you cannot look, because you have no eye in your side. [In our case, it’s a mental capacity people in Flatland (our Thinking-Self Age) do not have because they do not yet have a worldview to frame their robust access to the immense world of auto-self activities. Until you use (or right now, continue reading about) 2Selfs Theory enough to form 2Selfs Worldview within the auto-self part of your mind, auto-self activities will remain elusive (i.e., very difficult to recognize, understand, and manage explicitly) and illusive (i.e., they will continue to deceive and mislead you)].

 

I. Pardon me, my Lord, a moment's inspection will convince your Lordship that I have a perfect luminary at the juncture of two of my sides.

 

Stranger. Yes: but in order to see into Space [your auto-self] you ought to have an eye [a worldview], not on your Perimeter [in your thinking-self], but on your side, that is, on what you would probably call your inside [i.e., buried within auto-contexts]; but we in Spaceland [2Selfs Age] should call it your side [auto-self].

 

I. An eye in my inside! An eye in my stomach! Your Lordship jests.

 

Stranger. I am in no jesting humour. I tell you that I come from Space, or, since you will not understand what Space means, from the Land of Three Dimensions whence I but lately looked down upon your Plane which you call Space forsooth. From that position of advantage I discerned all that you speak of as solid (by which you mean "enclosed on four sides"), your houses, your churches, your very chests and safes, yes even your insides and stomachs, all lying open and exposed to my view. [Yes, once we inculcate 2Selfs Worldview, your auto-self activities are “all lying open and exposed to our view.” We can now see clearly discomfort-driven auto-self manipulations, especially those currently running rampant in the political systems of the West. We now understand how the technology prowess unleashed in the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age has created communications capabilities and escalating rates of change that overwhelm the Thinking-Self Age ability to manage their human-activities ramifications. We see how auto-context-based certainty illusions create dysfunctions through political branding/propaganda and within the “status quo” of business cultures as the business environment changes rapidly. We now can see a powerful form of “truth” constructed within auto-contexts that operates independently of any correspondence with the facts in the world. We can see the human aspects of religious beliefs and we can understand the domain of effectiveness of religions. Correspondingly, we also can now see the domain of effectiveness of science, which increasingly does not include crucial aspects of human activities as the social world becomes ever more complex and rapidly changing. We can also now understand how patriotism works and how shared values get established and maintained within the auto-contexts of citizenry.]

 

You are living on a Plane. What you style Flatland is the vast level surface of what I may call a fluid, on, or in, the top of which you and your countrymen move about, without rising above it or falling below it. [What you style as the Modern West is the vast two-dimensional worldview surface of what I may call the Thinking-Self Age within which citizens of the West explicitly solve thinking-self-based problems, without having the ability to explicitly understand and systematically manage auto-self-based problems.]

 

I am not a plane Figure, but a Solid. You call me a Circle; but in reality I am not a Circle, but an infinite number of Circles, one placed on the top of the other. When I cut through your plane as I am now doing, I make in your plane a section which you, very rightly, call a Circle. For even a Sphere – which is my proper name in my own country – if he manifest himself at all to an inhabitant of Flatland – must needs manifest himself as a Circle. [Likewise, even the many forms of auto-contexts, when they manifest themselves to inhabitants of the Thinking-Self Age, must manifest themselves as metaphors, body idioms, shadows, and blindly grasped-at specific aspects of the auto-self.]

 

Do you not remember how, when you entered the realm of Lineland, you were compelled to manifest yourself to the King, not as a Square, but as a Line, because that Linear Realm had not Dimensions enough to represent the whole of you, but only a slice or section of you? In precisely the same way, your [Thinking-Self Age] country of Two Dimensions [thinking-self and religions worldviews] is not spacious enough to represent me, a being of Three Dimensions [in 2Selfs Age with three overarching worldviews: thinking-self, auto-self, and religions], but can only exhibit a slice or section of me, which is what you call a Circle [or metaphor or idiom or shadow or (elephant) “spear”].

 

The diminished brightness of your eye indicates incredulity. But now prepare to receive proof positive of the truth of my assertions. You cannot indeed see more than one of my sections, or Circles, at a time; for you have no power to raise your eye out of the plane of Flatland; but you can at least see that, as I rise in Space, so my sections become smaller. See now, I will rise; and the effect upon your eye will be that my Circle will become smaller and smaller till it dwindles to a point and finally vanishes.

 

There was no "rising" that I could see; but he diminished and finally vanished. I blinked once or twice to make sure that I was not dreaming. But it was no dream. For from the depths of nowhere came forth a hollow voice – close to my heart it seemed – "Am I quite gone? Are you convinced now? Well, now I will gradually return to Flatland and you shall see my section become larger and larger."

 

When he regained his original size, he heaved a deep sigh; for he perceived by my silence that I had altogether failed to comprehend him. [As I perceived by their advice that some private reviewers of my 2Selfs Revolution book failed to comprehend crucial aspects of the nature and importance of the auto-self (the third “Spaceland” worldview “dimension”). They were still trying to understand if through their “Flatland” two-dimensional (thinking-self-empowering and religions) worldviews. 2Selfs Worldview had not yet emerged for them, which is why I wrote this article to move that process along].

 

"Ha! Is it come to this?" thundered the Stranger: "then meet your fate: out of your Plane you go. Once, twice, thrice! 'Tis done!" [That is what I intend for this article to do – to yank you out of your complacency struggling through the disintegration of the Thinking-Self Age and lift you headlong into 2Selfs Age. That is the purpose of the 2Selfs Revolution book and the articles at this website. Meet your fate: out of your Plane (thinking-self-empowering and religions worldviews) you go. You have to leave the two-dimensional world of thinking-self and religious realities to reach the three-dimensional problem-solving world that includes conquering auto-self activities. Otherwise, we are going to see increasing business (and other social segment) failures due to our abilities to manage human activities lagging increasingly behind the technology-driven needs. Also, technology-enabled communications have effectively rendered our current forms of Western governments obsolete due to massive manipulations that we can only overcome by constructing greater responsibilities into the auto-self of voters.]

 

18. How I came to Spaceland, and what I saw there

 

An unspeakable horror seized me. There was a darkness; then a dizzy, sickening sensation of sight that was not like seeing [maybe you are now experiencing something like reality vertigo, as some of my private book reviewers did]; I saw a Line that was no Line; Space that was not Space: I was myself, and not myself. [Perhaps you are recognizing previous descriptions (of the auto-self) that are vague, shadowy, and mysterious: maybe you are seeing helpful but only partial views of something elusive and realize there must be much more to it; possibly you are realizing you are your thinking-self but not yet your auto-self.] When I could find voice, I shrieked aloud in agony, "Either this is madness or it is Hell." "It is neither," calmly replied the voice of the Sphere, "it is Knowledge. [Knowledge (i.e., explicit knowledge) is the domain of the thinking-self; what you will acquire as you enter this third mental “dimension” is a new worldview that empowers explicit recognition, comprehensive understanding, and systematic improvement (transformations) of auto-self activities]. It is Three Dimensions: open your eye once again and try to look steadily." [Keep reading and absorbing steadily and little by little 2Selfs Worldview will automatically construct within your auto-self.]

 

I looked, and, behold, a new world! There stood before me, visibly incorporate, all that I had before inferred, conjectured, dreamed, of perfect Circular beauty [in our case with respect to the auto-self standing before you all that you inferred or conjectured about the auto-self through shadowy metaphors and idioms or partial views]. What seemed the centre of the Stranger's form lay open to my view: yet I could see no heart, nor lungs, nor arteries, only a beautiful harmonious Something – for which I had no words. [This is why we need some new vocabulary (which is not “jargon”) to describe what you have glimpsed and will increasingly see clearly as 2Selfs Worldview automatically constructs within you while you study and use 2Selfs Theory. Reading here about shadows, partial insights, metaphors, idioms, and the dimensions of the Flatland allegory should also help construct 2Selfs Worldview within your auto-self.] But you, my Readers in Spaceland, would call it the surface of the Sphere. "Just as the outside of a Cube is a Square, so the outside of a Sphere presents the appearance of a Circle."

 

Bewildered though I was by my Teacher's enigmatic utterance, I no longer chafed against it, but worshipped him in silent adoration. He continued, with more mildness in his voice. "Distress not yourself if you cannot at first understand the deeper mysteries of Spaceland. By degrees they will dawn upon you" [as you struggle to learn about and successfully employ 2Selfs Theory, Distress not yourself if you cannot at first understand the deeper mysteries of the auto-self. By degrees, 2Selfs Worldview will automatically construct within you, and then the realities of the auto-self will dawn upon you].

 

Awestruck at the sight of the mysteries of the earth, thus unveiled before my unworthy eye, I said to my Companion, "Behold, I am become as a God. For the wise men in our country say that to see all things [e.g., physical and human nature], or as they express it, omnividence, is the attribute of God alone." There was something of scorn in the voice of my Teacher as he made answer: "Is it so indeed? Then the very pick-pockets and cut-throats of my country are to be worshipped by your wise men as being Gods: for there is not one of them that does not see as much as you see now. But trust me, your wise men are wrong."

 

I. Then is omnividence the attribute of others besides Gods?

 

Sphere. I do not know. But, if a pick-pocket or a cut-throat of our country can see everything that is in your country, surely that is no reason why the pick-pocket or cut-throat should be accepted by you as a God. This omnividence, as you call it – it is not a common word in Spaceland – does it make you more just, more merciful, less selfish, more loving? Not in the least. Then how does it make you more divine?

 

19. How, though the Sphere shewed me other mysteries of Spaceland, I still desired more; and what came of it

 

How long I should have continued I know not. However, the end was not long in coming. My words were cut short by a crash outside, and a simultaneous crash inside me, which impelled me through space with a velocity that precluded speech. Down! down! down! I was rapidly descending; and I knew that return to Flatland was my doom. One glimpse, one last and never-to-be-forgotten glimpse I had of that dull level wilderness – which was now to become my Universe again – spread out before my eye. [Will you allow that process to become your fate? After the many glimpses into the auto-self presented earlier in this article and in this Flatland analogy, are you going to allow yourself to crash back into Flatland (our 2.4-century-long previously grand but now-self-destroying Thinking-Self Age)? Or, will you be able to keep the insights you are acquiring here into the realities of the auto-self and follow prescient leaders, or perhaps provide leadership yourself, into the new world of Spaceland (our 2Selfs Age)?] Then a darkness. Then a final, all-consummating thunder-peal; and, when I came to myself, I was once more a common creeping Square [citizen of the Thinking-Self Age], in my Study at home.

 

20. How the Sphere encouraged me in a Vision

 

During my slumber I had a dream. We were moving together towards a bright but infinitesimally small Point, to which my Master directed my attention.

 

“Look yonder,'' said my Guide, “in Flatland thou hast lived; of Lineland thou hast received a vision;  thou hast soared with me to the heights of Spaceland; now, in order to complete the range of thy experience, I conduct thee downward to the lowest depth of existence, even to the realm of Pointland, the Abyss of No dimensions. [Abbott expands on Pointland quite a bit, but for our analogy, this Pointland creature represents the emergence of the human species before we acquired complex language. The advent of robust symbolic language created at least one form of consciousness in the ability to tell complex stories and therefore acquire the ability (and need) to strive to understand the world about us. This in turn caused our ancestors to start asking where we came from and about the nature of the universe. Somehow, through the idiosyncrasies of the evolving human mind, this led to the construction of wildly varying and overwhelmingly powerful religion worldviews in most societies that (among other attributes) provided simplistic answers to physical-world questions that they were not yet equipped to answer (i.e., they had neither an empowering worldview nor appropriate processes). That continued until a secular problem-solving worldview emerged (as a result of the Science Revolution) to emancipate the thinking-self to solve many previously intractable physical-world problems].

 

Summing up the Flatland Analogies to Worldview Foundations

           

To sum up our analogy of the Flatland allegory, the symbolic dimensions from Flatland represent overarching supraevolution “dimensions” (equivalent to number of top-level worldviews) for societies. The human species has progressed from Pointland (no language or worldviews) to Lineland (language and then the creation of massive numbers religions operating within religion worldviews that among other things created many non-science guesses (myths) about the nature of the physical world and of the mental world). We then progressed to Flatland (for the West, the Philosophy Age of Classical Greece) where we retained religions but gradually confined (indirectly) their domains of applications to spiritual matters and started employing secular thinking-self-based processes. Then, after a very long diversion back to Lineland (which you will learn about shortly), the West created another supraevolutionary ascent back to Flatland (the Thinking-Self Age) – we once again had two overarching foundational worldviews, which most spectacularly now included science to solve physical-world problems. We have finally reached the major juncture in the maturation of the human species where we are about to launch an explicit supraevolutionary ascent to Spaceland. There, we will retain our science and religions worldviews (from Flatland) for solving problems in the physical world very effectively (and the mental world somewhat but now increasingly less effectively) and dealing with the human condition, and now add 2Selfs Worldview for solving problems in the mental world very effectively.

 

I hope this annotated Flatland allegory, along with the other visualization devices of the blind men and the elephant and Plato’s shadows, and the many examples of auto-self activities, has moved you well along the path of understanding 2Selfs Theory and caused 2Selfs Worldview to automatically construct within your auto-self as you ascend to “Spaceland” – that is, to 2Selfs Age!

I will use the physical dimensions from Flatland liberally in the rest of this article to give repeated insights into the elusive nature of the worldview "dimensions" of our various supraevolution Ages.

Revisiting Advice I Have Received

 

I received some much-appreciated specific private feedback from reviewers of my 2Selfs Revolution book that I will incorporate in a future edition and that I include in this article. I also learned about general Spaceland (2Selfs Age) points my reviewers had trouble understanding (or deeply believed others would not accept) due to attempting to understand them from a Flatland (Thinking-Self Age) perspective.

I provide the following analyses of the four main categories that my private reviewers advised me to avoid. I do this to enable them and other readers to understand the high importance of overcoming major human-nature (auto-self and especially auto-context) barriers to resurrecting the greatness of the West. To review, here are the four categories of advice:

 

  1. Build on an existing view of our automatic activities

  2. Stay away from politics and religion

  3. Stick with science to solve mental-world (human-activities) problems

  4. Avoid adding a new mega-cycle analysis

 

A general theme in the above advice is that all four items appear credible from a Flatland (Thinking-Self Age) perspective. However, we now need to revisit them from a Spaceland (2Selfs Age) perspective.

 

Please note that when I say “greatness” for the West, I refer to prosperity, standards of living, health, well-being, and shared-values progressive greatness. The West also had many examples of not very great adventures (including our imperialistic conquering of other cultures because our growing technology expertise enabled us to produce more-advanced weapons), which were all part of the growing pains of the maturation of the human species. Now we are on the threshold of a new mega-ascent for the West that will provide us the opportunity to improve on, and become more consistent in, the various forms of greatness we previously achieved but that are now relentlessly slipping away from us.

Advice #1 – Build on an Existing View of Our Auto-Self

 

General Observations:

 

Incremental Change or Mental Revolution? My reviewers didn’t quite put their advice in terms of focusing on evolutionary change instead of revolutionary change, but I think this approach would imply that process – i.e., make incremental (thinking-self-based) advances within an existing worldview. I am certain that our future successes, well-being, and positive-values formulation and maintenance will require a rare overarching mental revolution (supraevolutionary mega-ascent) for the West that will require establishing (explicitly this time) an additional widespread worldview to understand and manage automatic human activities commensurate with our escalating needs.

 

The Need for a General, Cross-Profession Model of the Mind: My reviewers’ approach would favor one profession at the expense of the others. Therefore, all but one profession would still need to learn a new vocabulary and new theory that were specific to a different profession instead of neutral like the new terminology of 2Selfs Theory. The alternative would be to labor through the process of extending the insights of each profession into the auto-self, which doesn’t seem like a grand idea because that would create redundant efforts and would make interdisciplinary cooperation extremely difficult. If you look at insights into the auto-self for any given profession, they look as if they grab hold of an elephant ear or knee or maybe a combination of the tusk and the tail. We need to describe the whole elephant, or in our terms, explain and manage the whole auto-self because many aspects of it have profound impacts on most mental-world activities. In particular, no profession has adequately penetrated into the paralyzing elusiveness and deceiving illusiveness of auto-contexts. Also, the 2Selfs Revolution book analyzes in detail the need for multidisciplinary academic approaches to solving many of our most pressing human-activities problems. As a result, we will experience a growing need for a uniform generalized model of automatic human activities. Although because of my background, 2Selfs Theory had its origins in the business world, I studied unsolved (and previously unsolvable) problems in many other areas of human activities and generalized the mental model to have extremely wide applicability.

Mental Revolutions Require New Vocabulary: A couple of my private reviewers admonished me to avoid introducing new terminology, or “jargon,” and to stick with standard definitions. Terms such as “soft” (meaning mushy, not well understood) success factors, the “box” (referring to something mysterious we have trouble thinking outside of), and “status quo” (referring to the fact that we somehow have great difficulty changing cultures including in business) are familiar terms, so they may not seem like “jargon.” However, they are just metaphors pointing indirectly toward something important that we should address directly. They are but shadows of something recognized as significant that we must understand, which requires new vocabulary to name new concepts that we can explain comprehensively and manage systematically. It was not jargon when the term “science” (a Φ3 process and worldview) was coined to replace Φ2 “natural philosophy,” which in turn had replaced Φ1 supernatural explanations for understanding the physical world. It was not jargon when Darwin introduced the term “natural selection” (a Φ3 process and worldview) to replace Φ1 supernatural explanations of how life evolves (or does not evolve!). It was not jargon when the term “plate tectonics” (a Φ3 process and worldview) was introduced to explain the forces that drove the previous controversial Φ2 concept of “continental drift.” Mental revolutions (supraevolutionary ascents) require new vocabulary and new theory, which eventually must migrate into a widespread new worldview. So, by the way, “supraevolution” is not jargon because it refers to internal auto-self (and in particular auto-context) mental states that determine the overall level of problem-solving abilities we have in a particular domain based on worldview foundations, even including at the top level for the entire West. So “supraevolution” does not rename a concept that already exists. The concept of “supraevolution” creates a new (Spaceland) reality that can empower us, for the first time, to understand and directly manage fundamental, discontinuous human progress. Actually, “jargon” generally refers to arcane language employed by a specific profession that is not easily accessible to those outside of that discipline. I designed the new 2Selfs Theory terminology to provide the opposite – general terms that transcend the specific idiosyncrasies of the many professions and other activities that will benefit from understanding and managing automatic human activities.

From Empirical (Φ2) to Root Cause (Φ3) Theories: It is often useful to look for analogies that will help us understand our current situation. The tectonic shift from “continental drift” to “plate tectonics” provides an excellent analogy to our current situation. In 1912, Alfred Wegener published a book called The Origins of Continents and Oceans, in which he proposed a (Φ2) theory that would come to be known as “continental drift.” This was a classic example of empirical observations leading to an inspired theory without understanding causes (the “what” without the “how”). He noted that the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa looked as if they were once attached. He also identified common species and rock strata at the margins of continents that he postulated were once connected. However, Wegener could not explain how whole continents could possibly move. As a result, most geologists rejected his ideas through the 1950s. researchers using improved techniques such as sonar and paleomagnetism measurements had accumulated enough information to identify what became known as “seafloor spreading” and then identified the other end of this mechanism as “subduction zones” where one plate slides underneath another. The result was a strong (Φ3) theory of plate tectonics, which has revolutionized geology by transforming it from a Φ2 empirical (i.e., based on organized observations without understanding what causes the phenomena observed) theory to a Φ3 root-cause theory that explains the underlying engine that drives the process. We can see many examples of similar inspired empirical insights into automatic human activities in the table Explicit Recognition of Two Distinct Human Modes shown previously in this article. In business, such insights as “people process” from the book Execution, “tacit knowledge” from the book The Knowledge Creating Company, culture change from the book Deep Change (by Robert E. Quinn), auto-expertise from the 1938 book The Functions of the Executive (by Chester I. Barnard) provide grand empirical (Φ2) examples. Also, we can now see the penetrating insight of Thomas Kuhn, which I repeatedly celebrate, into the nature of “revolutionary” science as another example of a Φ2 empirical theory. With 2Selfs Theory, we now have the opportunity to transform all of these empirical theories, and many more, into Φ3 root-cause theories by making the “tectonic” transformation to understanding how the auto-self is the engine that drives all of these observable phenomena. And, fortuitously, this is a worldview construction and not a reconstruction, activity so we can retain the progress made with the Φ2 empirical processes and make them discontinuously more effective.

 

Auto-Self Mechanisms not Developed Adequately with Existing Theories:

 

Crucial Elements of the Auto-Self Were Either Undeveloped or Underdeveloped: Previous insights into automatic human activities necessarily were empirical because the root cause (i.e., the auto-self) was not understood explicitly or at least not sufficiently. Since existing theories regarding automatic human activities were developed within the (Flatland) worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age, some crucial elements of the auto-self were either undeveloped or underdeveloped. With 2Selfs Theory, operating within the problem-solving foundation of 2Selfs (Spaceland) Worldview, we can now see clearly and manage systematically many auto-self mechanisms that are crucial to our future successes. Following are major (auto-self-caused) problems and examples of new (auto-self-based) concepts (introduced by 2Selfs Theory) that are crucial to our future successes and well-being.

 

Auto-Behaviors Problem – The Comfort Imperative:

  • External manipulations (seduction traps often in the form of simplistic solutions)

    • “Sustainable success” in business as exemplified by a series of wildly embraced books

    • Populism, socialism, deregulation (trickle-down deceptions), nationalism in politics

    • Creationism in religion

    • Explicit, deliberate stoking of discomfort: (as best exemplified by Hitler and Duper Don – a name I use repeatedly in the 2Selfs Revolution book and here because Trump is at his core a manipulator or duper of people) 

  • Internal self-deceptive pretending in the form of evasion gimmicks

    • Rationalizing. Minimize importance: Replace a crucial action with a story that the action was not really needed.

    • Procrastinating. Keep putting off: Acknowledge a task – keep it low priority – be “too busy.”

    • Escape Rituals. Divert attention: Do something else pleasurable when faced with an uncomfortable task.

    • Simplistic Solutions. Substitute: Dodge needed action – take related comfortable action that does not achieve goal.

    • Excuses as Reasons. Pretend: Create an excuse for lack of action while pretending you have a valid reason.

    • Avoidance. Refuse to engage: Evade needed actions by actively (refusing) or passively (ignoring) avoiding engagement.

Auto-Contexts – Worldviews and Certainty Illusions:

  • Worldviews: Foundations for problem solving, shared values, patriotism…

    • Domains of effectiveness

    • Levels (and phases) of effectiveness

    • Compartmentalization

    • Supraevolution 

  • Certainty illusions: Deep beliefs “in here” independent of facts “out there”

    • A second, constructed form of “truth” that operates independent of any correspondence with facts

    • Certainty delusions: Deep beliefs “in here” against facts “out there” (e.g., creationism)

    • Branding/propaganda: (as best exemplified by Hitler, Duper Don)

 

From the above, you should be able to see why I cannot avoid this topic for variety of reasons including creating a profession-neutral mental model and penetrating further into auto-contexts than anybody has previously achieved.

Advice #2 – Avoid Politics and Religion

 

It turns out that one of the main reasons that these two topics are so controversial is precisely because we don’t understand worldviews, their effects, and how to manage them. In the 2Selfs Revolution book, I track auto-self impacts on these two topics and business as I work through book Parts on Mega-Descent, Auto-Behaviors, Auto-Contexts, and Mega-Ascent because these three social segments require intervention at the auto-self level. They also provide dramatic, visible examples of why we need to understand and conquer the auto-self. Following is an overview of why for each of these three social-systems segments.

 

Business Issues

 

We can address this social-systems segment for three worldview environments.

 

Operating Environment Worldviews: We can usefully identify three levels (and phases) of worldviews that businesses have/can operate within:

  • Level 1: It will surprise many people to learn that some of the most popular (the highly celebrated “sustainable success”) business books of the last three decades were actually simplistic solutions operating at Φ1. If the genre of books I refer to is not obvious to you, you can learn about that in my annotations of the Halo book, which lays bare the simplistic nature of these books. 

  • Level 2: These are the many empirically based business books that focus on “soft” (metaphorically pointing to the auto-self) success factors. These books and the theories they describe, including those on tacit knowledge, execution, culture change, and leadership, provide significant advances in indirectly managing auto-self success factors. However, as technology-driven changes broadened and accelerated and as global competition relentlessly increased, these Φ2 empirical theories started falling increasingly behind our escalating needs.

  • Level 3: The only way to meet the mental-world needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is to directly understand and manage auto-self success factors (you can see why here). One way to do that is to construct new Φ3 business theories based on 2Selfs Theory. Another powerful, pragmatic way to accomplish that is to create a supraevolutionary ascent in business for solving mental-world problems by transforming already-helpful Φ2 empirical theories and worldview to more-effective Φ3 root-cause theories and worldview. This will retain the keen insights and powerful improvement processes created by the Φ2 efforts and make them discontinuously more effective commensurate with our relentlessly accelerating needs.

 

Business Environment Worldviews: In addition to the worldviews that are internal to businesses, several currently unmanaged worldviews in the external business environment also play pivotal roles in business successes (and failures). These worldviews include the ones that dictate chronic focus on short-term goals, artificially inflate earnings (EPS – earnings-per-share) reports through stock buybacks (often at the expense of neglecting needed investments for the future), and control of many business success factors by external financial people who make massive fortunes for themselves without providing corresponding value to the businesses they manipulate. These external success factors likely appear unchangeable to many reading this article, but that is just due to the certainty illusion and the current inability to manage worldviews. The 2Selfs Revolution book discusses each of these business-environment worldviews and identifies mechanisms to transform them.

Political/Economic Environment Worldviews: The political meltdowns underway in the West will inevitably create significant (potentially long-term) effects on economies, which will then impact businesses. The 2Selfs Revolution book identifies mechanisms we can use as the West learns to understand and manage automatic human activities in the political arena, and the following section outlines some of these.

 

Avoid Politics?

 

The End of Effectiveness of Representative Governments? We have squeezed all of the governing benefits out of our Flatland world (Thinking-Self Age worldview foundation). The only way to resuscitate our critically ill Western representative governing systems (a.k.a., democracies, republics) is to launch the 2Selfs Revolution and ascend into Spaceland (2Selfs Age). From Spaceland, we will finally be able to see more than partial views or the shadows of the inner workings of many crucial Flatland objects (our auto-self characteristics) including how we have come to the point of the suicide of the UK. The separate UK countries will still exist and be important, but if England ever recovers its former greatness (if it actually consummates its Brexit adventure), it will be far in the future, and the UK itself may cease to exist. The US still has a chance to recover our previous greatness if we can launch our part of the 2Selfs Revolution quickly enough to avoid a continued power dive under Duper Don, who is the most dangerous leader in the West since Hitler. Here are some of Duper Don’s auto-self-based deficiencies and dysfunctions:

  • Impetuous temperament of a preteen

  • Uncontrollable, petty attacks when he feels slighted

  • Compulsive purveyor of disinformation including whopper Big Leis

  • Habitual negative brander

  • Relentless stoker of discomfort

  • Perpetual propagandist

  • Chronic lack of knowledge – relies on TV sound bites

  • Complete lack of strategic-thinking ability – totally transactional

  • White nationalist or at least a supporter of that movement – making the US safe for overt racism again

  • Repeatedly drags down our hard-won, shared positive values (creating a supraevolutionary values descent)

  • Compulsive bully

  • Denigrates many of our allies and supports and lauds some of our adversaries

  • Serial sexual predator and attacks the women who verify the stories he was caught on audio bragging about

  • So compulsively and relentlessly attacks anyone who disagrees with him that he has emasculated what was once the constructive and honorable aspects of the Republican Party

 

Doing versus Being: The above activities do not just describe what Duper Don does; they identify who he is at the auto-self level (and he is an exemplar of a narcissist who has zero chance of ever transforming his many dysfunctional auto-self characteristics – what we see now is what we will always get). The 2Selfs Revolution book analyzes the many horrendous auto-self characteristics of Duper Don and explains why they render him fundamentally incapable of functioning effectively as the President of the United States. Duper Don as POTUS is an accident of history who is a temperamentally, mentally, and morally unequipped (and dangerous) manipulator who was able to seize power during the disintegration of the worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age (and disastrously, with manipulative support from our Russian adversary, which he publicly encouraged). Duper Don’s rise to power is also the most dramatic example that we have indeed entered the second mega-descent in the history of the West. History eventually treats tyrants with the negative assessments they deserve. Although Hitler (and similarly with Stalin, Mao, and eventually with the family that owns North Korea) had many enthusiastic German supporters during his reign, once the effects of his auto-self manipulations (including outright intimidation) subsided, history (including German history) has appropriately treated him very harshly. Some autocrats use physical violence but all use mental violence that operates at the auto-self level including stoking discomfort, negative branding of others, and positive branding of self. I confidently predict that although he currently has many passionate supporters, history will also inevitably treat the master manipulator (and negative-values constructor) Duper Don very severely once we drag ourselves out of this Manipulation Chasm period into which we have sunk. In Duper Don’s relentless hubristic promotion of himself (and his self-serving use of his POTUS role to promote and directly benefit his businesses), he has proclaimed he is a stable genius. In fact, he is an unstable ignoramus because he lacks a responsible-adult temperament and the mental wherewithal to acquire knowledge to create or even to understand systematic strategies required to lead the United States in our increasingly complex world. Duper Don is dangerous in his extremely powerful POTUS role because he suffers from chronic mental myopia – it seems to stretch his anemic knowledge and limited concentration capacity to see even one move ahead of his current, often impetuous, transactions. Some Duper Don supporters have told me that they voted for him because they thought a business person could help drive a good economy and restart significant increases in their standard of living. However, they missed the type of business person he is. He achieved his business successes by leveraging the fortune and business his daddy left him and by bullying people, often not paying fully for the services he receives, and declaring bankruptcies. He also perpetuated some big-time scams including his so-called Trump “University” (for which he had to settle lawsuits for more $25 million) and his self-dealing with his charity (for which a judge fined him $2 million). Does that look like a good business person to you or a clever con artist? He is finding that he can’t bully some foreign countries as easily as he bullied weaker business entities and many of our adversaries have figured out how to manipulate his narcissism to their advantage. Duper Don is destroying not only the Republican brand but also the hard-won brand of the United States on the world stage.

Resurrecting Our Representative Forms of Government: When we watch how so many leaders of the US Republican Party, including most members of Congress, have so totally caved in and turned over their party and their principles to the master manipulator, we can see how so many otherwise good people in Germany succumbed to the juggernaut that was Hitler. Duper Don works vigorously to undermine the checks and balances built into the Constitution that empowers Congress to provide oversight of potential malfeasance of the executive branch. He refuses to turn over documents to the appropriate committees, prevents (or at least vigorously attempts to) executive branch employees from giving candid testimony, and has so intimidated members of his own party that they sit by passively allowing (or actively supporting) him to undermine our governing institutions. It appears that Duper Don and Hitler have (had) equally malicious intents, but Hitler was strategic thinker who could play the long game whereas Duper Don is a knowledge-challenged bumbler who staggers impulsively from one transaction to another without even a clue of how to create a comprehensive sustained strategy. That gives the US a much better chance to overcome the damage caused by Duper Don before it gets out of control. Yes, we must address politics and show that 2Selfs Theory (or some theory and accompanying worldview that directly manages automatic human activities and particularly auto-contexts) provides the only viable way to resurrect the viability of our governing systems. In fact, instead of staying away from politics, our governing systems are at the very top of the issues driving the mega-descent of the West, so we must address politics explicitly, vigorously, and immediately. As we launch the 2Selfs Revolution, this is not a left-right or progressive-conservative discussion, but rather a loud alarm bell showing how technology-enhanced manipulations are undermining our governing systems by opportunist and charlatans from the far left and the extreme right who are duping too many defenseless voters. Besides exposing the auto-self basis of many voter-manipulation techniques, 2Selfs Theory now provides us the opportunity to construct greater responsibility into the auto-self of the voting public, which we must do to return Western forms of representative governments to long-term viability. As I complete my writing of this article, the impeachment of Duper Don has now become a real reality, which was probably inevitable given his compulsive (i.e., based on his many dysfunctional auto-behavior and auto-context characteristics) manipulative behavior. With such overwhelming hubris and nefarious intent, he drove away those who had the courage to check his worst impulses because his impetuous, childish demeanor rejects all adult supervision.

Avoid Religion?

 

Another Example of How 2Selfs (Spaceland) Worldview Discontinuously Improves Access to Human Activities: You have already seen many examples of how 2Selfs Theory gives us much greater access to automatic human activities than was previously possible including in business and politics. 2Selfs Theory will also provide great benefits on a variety of personal-responsibilities issues. Beyond the thinking-self-based greater visibility to automatic human activities provided by 2Selfs Theory, as 2Selfs Worldview gradually emerges within your auto-self, you will automatically start to see many types of human activities differently and more powerfully than was previously possible. As a further example of how 2Selfs Worldview empowers us to see a broad array of human activities more powerfully, I offer many examples in this section regarding religions.

 

Natural Aspects of Religion: Just as science empowers us to understand and manage the natural physical world, 2Selfs Theory empowers us to handle the natural mental world. The two previous segments provided glimpses into how to understand and manage auto-self aspects of business and politics. The auto-self plays a major role in most human-activities segments, and that inevitably applies to religions. As we continue on our path to understand human nature much better so we can resurrect the greatness of the West, we will benefit greatly by drawing a hard distinction between the supernatural objects of religions, such as the Christian Trinity and the Hindu Trimurti, and the natural human aspects of religions as people acquire, practice, and experience them. Since 2Selfs Theory deals with the human mind and in particular with the auto-self, it only addresses this latter aspect of religions. To avoid having readers innocently misunderstand or malevolently misrepresent what I say here, I am not claiming that the natural mental religious processes are all there is to religion. Rather, I strongly assert that we now understand human nature well enough to know how such potent, hidden auto-self activities as the Comfort Imperative, worldviews, and certainty illusions work in business, politics, and so many other types of human activities, and it makes no sense to believe these mental processes stop working when we focus on religious topics. In addition to identifying problem and opportunity areas in the three main segments we have been analyzing in this article, each one also gives different types of examples of how we can view human activities differently and in crucial ways more powerfully. Since religions are among the most powerful (often the most powerful) human activities people participating in, taking a Spaceland view of some of its activities can help construct 2Selfs Worldview within you and open up new possibilities for making religions more-consistently beneficial.

 

Religions and the Physical World:

 

Creationism as Exemplar: Just as Duper Don is the most glaring example of the demise of our political systems in the West, so is creationism a great example that we have still not progressed as far as we pretend we have as consistent, methodical problem solvers. We have known since the Science Revolution that the Bible cannot possibly be inerrant because it got its descriptions of the physical universe terribly wrong (consistent with the naïve pre-science views of the world existing at the times the Bible stories were written). As we go through human-activities growing spurts where we learn to manage better many important activities that relate to our successes, well-being, and shared positive values, sometimes we struggle to retain the lessons we learn. In 2Selfs Theory terms, nothing inherent in human nature makes the supraevolution arrow point consistently upward. You will see below two previous supraevolutionary mega-ascents, one previous supraevolutionary mega-descent, and that we are currently in the second supraevolutionary mega-descent in the history of the West. One of the major characteristics of our current desperately needed supraevolutionary mega-ascent (the 2Selfs Revolution) is that it will enable us to emancipate the auto-self, and therefore understand and manage auto-contexts including their incarnation in worldviews, and thereby empower us to manage the supraevolution process. That should make it possible to reverse our current supraevolutionary descents in many areas (including in our governing systems, with creationism, and for many of our values) and prevent others in the future.

Stop Fighting Lost Causes: In the Mental-Prison Age, people had such a constrained (symbolically, Lineland) overarching worldview that they ended up torturing the geocentric model of the universe to accommodate the retrograde motions of the planets instead of realizing that the earth was not the flat, stationary, center of the universe as described in many places in the Bible. Today some religious groups and leaders are similarly interpreting away (or ignoring) the massive numbers of contradictions, false cosmology stories, and negative values (including slavery) stories from the Bible, while still disingenuously maintaining the Bible is “inerrant.” This problem is so bad, that authors write whole books, called “Apologies” (discussed further in the Anomalies section below) trying to explain away these massive issues while pretending the Bible is inerrant. The dysfunctional auto-context biblical-inerrancy construction provides the foundation for the antiscience creationism construction, which created culture (worldview) wars in the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age, but these counterproductive auto-context constructions will appear absurd and undermine the viability of religions in 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age. Just as was done previously with the erroneous geocentric universe model, it would be much better now to stop fighting the lost cause of biblical inerrancy and instead select (and interpret) passages that serve your purposes (as long as they don’t negatively impact others) and use your religion to help you navigate the inevitable challenges of life. The actual reality of how the universe, our sun, earth, life, and humans came into being is a fascinating story unfolded over the last few centuries by a huge group of very smart scientific investigators. It is a tribute to the magnificent human capabilities the Science Resolution emancipated that researchers could systematically reveal this fascinating reality. There is nothing inherently scary or terrible about the realities of the natural world. The only reason some people struggle with it is because they have an ancient worldview, from before humanity had advanced to the point where we could progressively reveal what actually happened, buried deeply (i.e., deliberately constructed) into an auto-context that burdens them with having to live within a pretend physical-world certainty delusion.

Fairy Tales Will Not Help Us Resurrect Our Greatness: Many parents provide fantasies, or fairy tales, for their young children in forms that often include Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. The creationism myths are no more real than these fairy tales are, and believing in them demonstrates that in our current Flatland (Thinking-Self) Age, it is still possible to cause many people to revert to the infancy Lineland (Mental-Prison) Age of human development. Yes, we know how to construct auto-contexts and we finally understand explicitly about how auto-contexts operate and how the construction process works. We also now know how powerful they are at producing certainty illusions that operate independent of facts in the world, and we know that it is quite possible to construct certainty delusions “in here” about the physical world that verifiably do not correspond to (well-established) realities “out there.” We always understand the world about us through mental images. Our challenge is to determine whether those mental images “in here” actually correspond to the world “out there” or are they just internal (i.e., auto-context) mental constructions that operate independently of the facts of the world. We are about to reach the point in the supraevolution development process (as we enter Spaceland – 2Selfs Age where we will finally see Flatland human activities clearly) that we now can understand and overcome the dysfunctional process of deliberately constructing certainty delusions that serve no useful purpose but create enormous barriers to our future prosperity and well-being.

False Knowledge versus Dysfunctional Worldviews: Because most children learn that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are pretend stories very early in their lives, often when they start school, they experience some disappointment but not a trauma because these fantasies have not been deeply embedded into their auto-contexts. However, the make-believe of creationism taught repeatedly in many schools and within religious organizations does create a deeply embedded (antiscience) worldview, so making later changes becomes difficult and traumatic. The 2Selfs Revolution book explores the huge negative consequences of the rise of creationism beliefs in our current troubled times with so many citizens suffering from grave discomfort (worsened by some manipulators deliberately stoking greater discomfort) that they are extremely vulnerable to external seduction traps and internal evasion gimmicks. A major problem as we struggle our way through the end game of the Thinking-Self Age is that a success-destroying percentage of the population is succumbing to the erroneous belief in young-earth creationism, and tragically, we are still teaching that in many schools. When viewed from within our current Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age worldview foundation, you may think that is just a minor nuisance because as students get older they will simply reject the young-earth creationism fairy tales they received in their youth and learn about how the physical world actually operates. However, when viewed from within the 2Selfs (Spaceland) Worldview, it becomes clear that is not how the mental process works. When antiquated religious information about the physical world is presented repeatedly and disingenuously as science, a dysfunctional worldview forms in the youth of a country. And as we now understand theoretically from 2Selfs Theory and pragmatically from such issues as business cultures, political branding/propaganda, attitudes, and self-images, once an auto-context becomes established within the auto-self, it is very difficult to dislodge it (i.e., reconstruct it due to the certainty illusion and the Comfort Imperative). We must stop eating our seed corn by enslaving the minds (a tragic, currently unacknowledged form of child abuse) of our youth through constructing dysfunctional worldviews that will impair the ability of many of them to think clearly and successfully in the future. Creationism is not just thinking-self mischief; it is auto-self abusive dysfunction.

 

The Destructiveness of Deliberately Constructing Certainty Delusions: As people start viewing human activities through the lens of 2Selfs Worldview, it will become clearer why constructing dysfunctional worldviews in our youth is so devastating to our future success and well-being. Once we start constructing certainty delusions into worldviews, we open up the possibility of losing track of realities in the world and diminish the ability to solve many complex human-activities problems. Side effects of such a policy include greater vulnerability to technology-enabled manipulations, including voting for empty suits who don’t have a clue how to deliver on their hyperbolic promises and who are systematically destroying the “glue” (i.e., deconstructing the shared auto-contexts) that hold our Western governing systems together. Also, if we can construct certainty delusions in students in the form of pretending that religion trumps science when dealing with the physical world, then after they grow up, many of them end up pretending politics Trumps science, and we get the disastrous global warming that we are not addressing adequately (even worse, with Duper Don, now deliberately worsening). We need to avoid constructing dysfunctional worldviews so citizens can see clearly through the massive technology-enabled manipulations currently underway in the West.


The Domain of Effectiveness for Religions Excludes the Physical World: All worldviews we construct into our auto-self have domains of effectiveness. The domain of effectiveness for science (and technology development and product creation) is the physical world. The domain of effectiveness for 2Selfs Worldview is the mental world (human activities including social systems and personal responsibilities). The domain of effectiveness for religions is the spiritual world (which helps to manage many perennial aspects of the human condition). The 2Selfs Revolution book outlines what I consider to be a viable, robust domain of effectiveness for religions. Explicitly excluded from the domain of effectiveness of religions is understanding and managing the physical world, which is clearly the domain of science. When people still insist on trying to apply religion to the physical world, they increasingly make a mockery of religion – they signal that for them religion is just about pretending. Creationism has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical world – creationism is simply the construction of a dysfunctional certainty delusion. It is a process “in here” (i.e., in human minds and in particular in the auto-context part of the auto-self) that does not correspond with the world “out there” (that is, outside of internal mental processes). Just what advantage is creationism supposed to provide when it is outside of the domain of effectiveness for religions? It can’t be to defend biblical inerrancy because then creationists would become dinosaur flat-earthers (based on widespread biblical stories that assert the earth is the flat, stationary center of the universe) in addition to being dodo bird young-earthers (based on two contradictory stories in the Bible that indicate the universe came into being supposedly in recorded history about 6000 years ago). We know that the science worldview provided the foundation for solving problems in the physical world that underpinned our prosperity and well-being during the Modern West. Try to name one benefit (other than to the incomes of the perpetrators) that ever resulted from pretending a religion worldview enables us to understand and manage the physical world. The above assertion about creationism is obvious to the majority of educated people and to nearly all people educated in the sciences. However, this next assertion will surprise most people. Currently, constructing shared, consistently positive values is outside the domain of effectiveness for religions.

 

Religions and Values:

 

Destroying the Positive-Values Brand of Christianity: Duper Don has already destroyed (at least for now) the principled-governing brand of the national Republican Party. He is also greatly degrading the moral-leadership brand of the US on the world stage. Now Duper Don, and many of his prominent Christian acolytes (especially those in the so called “evangelical Christian” community) are doing their best to destroy the positive-values brand of Christianity. In December 2019, a prominent voice in the evangelical community, the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, stepped up to call out Duper Don’s character. Mark Galli finally had enough and called for removing Trump from office, stating, “the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.” Galli had a lot more to say about Duper Don’s moral character from an evangelical Christian perspective. “This president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration… [He] has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused… None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character… Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency.”* In subsequent interviews, Galli reported that many evangelicals had applauded him for taking such a courageous stand in defending positive Christian moral values. Of course, Duper Don compulsively attacked Christianity Today and unfortunately so did many prominent evangelical leaders who vigorously support Duper Don including Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. (whose father ironically founded the so called “moral majority” movement), Franklin Graham (son of the founder of Christianity Today), and Ralph Reed (the first executive director of the Christian Coalition). Reed said Galli “may want to change the magazine's name to ‘Christianity Yesterday.’ ‘You cannot imagine a publication more out of step with the faith community that it once represented,’ he said. ‘President Trump received 81% of the votes of evangelicals four years ago -- the highest ever recorded. His job approval according to a recent poll by my organization -- the Faith and Freedom Coalition -- among U.S. Evangelical stands at 83%. That is a historic high.’”** So, is the moral high ground now yesterday’s Christian values? That is a depressing prospect, isn’t it!

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/trump-should-be-removed-from-office.html

** https://www.foxnews.com/media/ralph-reed-evangelical-magazine-that-slammed-trump-should-change-name-to-christianity-yesterday

What is Happening to Us? As the West’s Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age foundation collapses, we are not only watching the destruction of the viability of our governing systems, but now we also seem to be witnessing the degradation of Christian (and religion in general) positive values within widespread sectors. What is happening to Christianity when prominent religious leaders brag that over 80% of their community supports a president who is “profoundly immoral” and has “grossly immoral character”? What is happening when this hero to so many evangelical Christians who repeatedly displays his negative character by compulsively issuing massive numbers of nasty tweet storms could not even control his obsessive drive enough to avoid issuing offensive tweets on the Christian holy day of Christmas (2019)? What is happening to positive Christian values when so many influential Christian leaders and widespread communities are seemingly “morally lost and confused,” along with Duper Don? Duper Don lashed out at Christianity Today, calling it a "far left " and “progressive” magazine on Twitter (his normal diversionary, branding/propaganda line of attack – Christianity Today is actually considered a center-right magazine). When did positive moral values become a “far left” position? Have conservatives abandoned positive values? Duper Don, and many of his most ardent supporters, talk as if progressively better values are a bad thing. Was the values progress the West made during the Modern West a bad thing? Was eliminating slavery a bad act? Were drastically reducing torture and capital punishment in the West “far left” or too “progressive”? Was creating freedoms for white (mostly Protestant) men in the US and eventually extending these freedoms to other religions, women, and other minority groups bad activities for the West (apparently it is for some)? Was taking actions to preserve our environment to pass on a better world to our posterity bad progress (Duper Don seems to think so, and by extension so do many of his supporters)? The West made great progress in identifying and diffusing shared positive values throughout our culture during our Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age, but we struggled to construct the empowering worldviews because we always did that indirectly. Now, as we launch the 2Selfs Revolution to ascend to 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age, we will finally be able to engage in candid discussions about how we should define positive values and not just rely on any sect to define their particular values for us. This time, we will be able to propagate shared positive values explicitly once we have defined what that means for us as a society. From a 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age perspective, we can now see that prominent evangelical Christian leaders are not just supporting many of Duper Don’s immoral positions and behaviors through statements (a thinking-self activity); they are constructing (an auto-self and specifically an auto-context “evangelizing” activity) acceptance of his negative moral values into the worldviews of their followers! Why aren’t more positive-values Christian leaders shouting (as Mark Galli just did) as loudly as Duper Don’s passionate Christian supports? 

The Illusion of Consistent, Bible-Based, Moral Values: Any given Christian sect or cohesive religious community understandably believes strongly that their values are divinely ordained because they base them on the Bible. However, religious groups and powerful religious leaders occupy both positions on most (all?) contentious values issues including women’s rights, gay rights, minority rights, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, widespread human dignity, and protection of the environment (plus the repeated moral transgressions of Duper Don, as you just saw). Here is another clear example of powerful religious sects and leaders previously fighting passionately on both sides of a huge values issue in the United States. Historian Mark Noll, an evangelical Christian, wrote a well-researched book about the US Civil War, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. In his book, Noll points out the dilemma that Christians faced because while clergy from the North and the South used the Bible to make their justifications for abolition and slavery respectively, those in the North had to rely on general statements to oppose slavery while those in the South could point to explicit passages supporting slavery. Clergy in the South passionately pointed to many clear slavery-supporting verses in the Bible to assert the Christian-based moral imperative of slavery (these days that would seem to make most people want to back away from asserting biblical inerrancy and gracefully accept interpreting the Bible pragmatically rather than to taking it literally). Biblical scholars understand that the stories in the Bible were written over a long period, by many different (mostly anonymous) authors, and for different sectarian purposes. The resultant rich array of biblical verses to choose from makes it possible to extract any values positions religious sects, leaders, or individuals desire. Revisiting the group discussed above, as the “evangelical” moniker implies, leaders of this mass movement are much better at evangelizing (i.e. transforming through constructing or reconstructing worldviews) than they are at defining positive values to which they should transform people. In 2Selfs Age, we will no longer allow Christian (religious) groups or leaders to promulgate negative values by simply asserting that these values come from their particular metabible (their interpretation of what the Bible means for them, a concept developed somewhat later in this article and further in the 2Selfs Revolution book). They must defend their values like all other values proposals because currently no agreed upon mechanism exists for constructing metabibles.

Moral Relativism: Here is another empowering Spaceland distinction: we need to distinguish between processes that enforce (i.e., construct worldviews that compel or repel) specific values from those that define positive (or negative) values. Remember that we construct powerful, controlling worldviews through repetition of thoughts with feelings attached. As such, religions are in a great position to enforce the values they select because, oh, do religions use endless repetitions and induce powerful experiences. Societies have used this process throughout their various Lineland and Flatland cycles. However, we also can and do construct powerful worldviews, including for values, through secular processes. The other side of this enforcement/definition distinction has proved to be much more elusive. Throughout history, societies have pretended that the values they espouse are automatically the correct ones, and they most often have done this by declaring their values are divinely inspired or dictated. We cannot rely on religious leaders simply to declare what values we should adopt because they use the formula, “I say that God says that these should be our values.” As we have just seen, religious leaders say that God says whatever they place in their metabibles, and currently no mechanism exists to constrain what goes into metabibles to define values. This further demonstrates that Christianity does not currently participate effectively in defining or formulating widespread positive values, or any consistent values. Sadly, this implies that Christianity as a whole (and other religions and secular society) currently teaches and enforces moral relativism. That has been the case throughout our Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age. As we ascend to 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age, we will have new mental-world visibility and tools to be able to do much better including having the ability to focus explicitly on creating criteria for constructing metabibles. Perhaps then, when people say they have “Christian values,” we will have some idea of that they mean. As with most other types of human activities, religions will benefit greatly from initiating their own supraevolutionary ascent on some crucial topics including confining their activities to the domain of effectiveness for religions (i.e., eject creationism; almost all have already excised geocentricity) and finding a way to become effective participants in defining and constructing widespread positive values. Also, we need to stop pretending that religions participate effectively in defining shared positive values now, so we can at last get them into that process. We cannot continue on our long-term path of defining and propagating shared positive values by falling for gratuitous assertions of “morality” that are quite negative and hurtful to many people. That was a Flatland dysfunctional practice, but we now realize how much that can set us back when used by some religious leaders, as you just saw, who abuse the privileged position of religion to roll back some of the positive values we have achieved. As we enter Spaceland (2Selfs Age), we will require individuals and groups to defend the viability of the values they espouse and construct and not allow them to usurp credibility by hijacking the exalted position in which many people hold religions.

 

How the 2Selfs Revolution Might Expand the Domain of Effectiveness for Religions: A partial worldview reconstruction did occur during the Worldview-Wars Age in that the worldview that we needed to understand and manage the physical world was reconstructed from religious to secular (and most spectacularly in the form of science). However, the West did not undergo the slippery slope that so many religious leaders feared during this period where science might obsolete religion. Instead, religions remained vibrant and more useful with their domain of application (implicitly) constrained to their domain of effectiveness (in particular, avoiding attempting to understand and manage the physical world), and once that happened, no further shrinkage of the domain of application was necessary. Now, as we launch the 2Selfs Revolution, no further shrinkage of the domain of application of religions is required (we just need to make explicit the one that took place implicitly two and half centuries ago). Furthermore, 2Selfs Theory now identifies a potential expansion of the domain of effectiveness for religions to start participating in defining and propagating shared positive values for whole societies.


Participating in the Agenda of Defining Shared Positive Values: The 2Selfs Revolution book identifies a possible path for religions to become a major contributor to defining and propagating shared positive values in the future. We need to stop giving religious groups and leaders an automatic pass when they hide behind the veil of respectability generally ascribed to religions. When religious leaders or groups provide positive individual or social benefits, which they often do, we should applaud them. However, when they commit child abuse by constructing certainty delusions (creationism) into children just because they have access to them and know how to do that, we need to call them out. When they promote negative values regarding “other” groups by selectively extracting harmful stories from the Bible (or other sacred texts), we need to strip away the façade of respectability normally accorded to religious activities. As amply demonstrated above, religious practices are mental-world (primarily auto-context-based) activities, and as such, they can and do create positive or negative results as with other types of human activities. Therefore, as with our other mental-world activities, we should expect religions to join the 2Selfs Revolution to provide more-consistent benefits to societies. You may think that because of the way religious groups and leaders selectively extract stories from the Bible (or other sacred texts) to suit their own sectarian values positions, it may be impossible for religions in the West as a whole to converge on defining and constructing widespread positive values. It may be true that religions will not be able to agree upon a set of positive values. However, just like for other individuals, groups, professions, and even whole countries, it would be tragic for the future greatness and well-being of the West if religious organizations do not at least attempt to create this supraevolutionary ascent. We can have some hope for converging on a set of positive Christian values for Christianity as a whole because we have seen widespread convergence before on overcoming deep unequivocal beliefs. Two powerful examples you have already seen in this article are eliminating geocentricity and slavery from most metabibles. A new promising opportunity to converge on positive values will present itself as we transform from our Flatland understanding of human nature to our new Spaceland perspective that will empower us to understand and manage the auto-self. The 2Selfs Revolution book makes a specific proposal for how to accomplish this. During our Flatland existence, most people pretended that they understood the nature of positive moral values even though they had no mechanism for defining the moral high ground and the West struggled over centuries to make slow, painful step-wise progress. As we enter our new Spaceland world, coming to an agreement on shared positive values will still be a difficult challenge. However, at least we will be able to stop pretending that we have been doing that, and we will have new visibility into human nature (i.e., the auto-context basis of maintaining moral values) to empower us to do much better than we have in the past. If the overall Christian community (and Western society in general) is ever able to agree on a set of positive values, it is clear that Duper Don will fail the test on most of them, so why do so many prominent Christians and large Christian organizations support him so passionately today? We now understand that enduring values reside in auto-contexts – our Spaceland challenge will be to figure out which auto-contexts we want to construct. 

Beware of a Self-Inflicted Slippery Slope: As we move into 2Selfs Age and learn to understand and manage automatic human activities including auto-contexts, religions have nothing to fear from encroachments into their domain of effectiveness from science (the physical world should have been eliminated during the Science Revolution – no further shrinking needed) or 2Selfs Theory. However, religions will have much to fear from the creation of a self-inflicted slippery slope if they continue to pretend that verifiably false assertions are valid because that will cause increasing numbers of their adherents to start recognizing their religion deceived or duped them. Most Christian organizations worked their way off a previous slippery slope by giving up on the geocentric universe even though their Worldview-Wars Age predecessors had passionately asserted (and persecuted those who disagreed) the need to embrace the belief in an earth-centered universe because that is clearly stipulated in the Bible. As the West gains a “Spaceland” view of automatic human activities, deliberate construction of certainty delusions within religion organizations could lead to internal collapse. Along with recovering from widespread support of a major exemplar of negative moral behaviors in Duper Don, two other crucial areas Christians (religions) should avoid to stay off of the slippery slope toward self-destruction are biblical inerrancy (or scripture inerrancy to state this point more broadly) and scripture-based “creationism.” The inerrancy certainty delusion provides the foundation for the creationism certainty delusion. To give a different perspective on this topic, geocentricity was a Mental-Prison (Lineland) Age certainty, a Worldview-Wars (Lineland to Flatland transformation) Age perplexity, and became a Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age absurdity. Similarly, creationism was a Mental-Prison (Lineland) Age and Worldview-Wars (Lineland to Flatland transformation) Age certainty, became a Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age fantasy, and will be a 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age absurdity. You will see more on this topic in the Anomalies section below. 

 

Religions and Productivity, Freedoms, Dignity Progress:

 

The Great Chain of Being: This concept, which was constructed as a widespread worldview during the Mental-Prison and Worldview-Wars Ages in the West, kept people in Europe under submission for centuries. “The very concept of rebellion simply lay outside the reality [i.e., outside of their constructed worldviews] within which most people lived, for to defy the King was to defy God. King James I himself wrote, ‘The state of monarchy is the most supreme thing upon earth: for kings are…God's Lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne.’ The belief in the Chain of Being [A hierarchy: God, angels, humans, animals, plants, matter] meant that a monarchical government was ordained by God and inherent in the very structure of the universe. Rebellion against a king was not challenging the state; it was an act against the will of God itself, for a king was God's appointed deputy on earth, with semi-divine powers.”* The Science Revolution constructed a widespread worldview that transformed the Western mind from believing that the physical world operated through supernatural agency to believing humans could understand and manage the physical world to their enormous benefits. Similarly, the Enlightenment Revolution constructed a widespread worldview that transformed the Western mind from believing that humans must be subjugated to clerical and monarchical control to believing they could govern themselves.

http://faculty.grandview.edu/ssnyder/121/121%20great%20chain.htm

 

Compartmentalizing to Enjoy Religion Without Blocking Progress: Many people feel a deep need to participate in religious activities as a way to help them navigate through the perennial challenges of life. Most people also feel a strong need to have a successful, prosperous, healthy, long, moral life and to pass on a positive world to posterity including their own progeny. Fortunately, people can enjoy both benefits simultaneously through explicit compartmentalizing. However, to achieve that, we have reached the point in the development of humankind that we must now ascend to the supraevolution level where we can explicitly manage worldview domains of application (i.e., confine them to their domains of effectiveness) and compartmentalization. That is one of the major benefits that will accrue from the 2Selfs Revolution. If our predecessors in the West had understood worldview domains of effectiveness and compartmentalization (they didn’t even understand worldviews for that matter), they could have avoided so much externally imposed suffering and internally experienced angst during the long Worldview-Wars Age. We now know that it is possible, through restricting the domain of application for worldviews to their domain of effectiveness, to compartmentalize our use of vastly different worldviews so we can effectively employ the processes associated with each worldview.

 

Advice #3 – Stick With Science to Solve Human-Activities Problems

 

Certainty Illusions Appear Everywhere: Well-meaning reviewers of my 2Selfs Revolution book have strongly advised me to avoid even hinting that the science worldview and science processes are not the best way to solve human-activities problems – “social sciences” is deeply embedded in the worldviews of university faculty focused on human activities. Unfortunately, this would be similar to vigorous advice (not to mention violent reactions) given during the Worldview-Wars Age when researchers (nascent scientists) were advised to use the Bible to understand how God supernaturally controls the physical world. Another similarity is that science did not destroy religions; it just (implicitly) shrank their domain of application to their domain of effectiveness (i.e., the spiritual world and managing perennial aspects of the human condition). So also will 2Selfs Theory not undermine science at all. First, 2Selfs Theory does not address the physical world, so it does not interfere in any way with the application of science to the physical world, which is clearly it’s major domain of effectiveness. Second, whatever mental-world progress researchers have been able to achieve using science processes operating within the science (or, more generally, secular, thinking-self-empowering) worldview will remain valid, and discontinuously greater progress will now become possible by adding 2Selfs Theory, which with use will automatically construct 2Selfs Worldview.

 

Scientist Slippery-Slope Fear: The slippery-slope argument for religion, science, and other worldviews occurs because we have failed to understand and manage problem-solving worldview foundations. However, it is easy to see how people defending the science worldview can worry about a slippery slope, particularly with respect to religions. Just look at how science had to claw its way into existence during the Worldview-Wars Age fighting against punishments, the Bible, pronouncements of religious leaders, and the certainty illusion. As if that was not bad enough, the battle continues today with respect to the creationism assaults (from the childhood phase of human development) on science. As a result, it should not surprise us that scientists fiercely defend their prerogative (in 2Selfs Theory terms, a very broad domain of effectiveness). Furthermore, they have to endure the repeated ultra-naïve and disingenuous assault from some religionists that science is tentative and always subject to change so why would you adopt it over revealed religion, which is absolute and will never change (an argument that strangles progress when applied to the physical world). Due to the nature of the power of worldviews and of certainty illusions, the “tentative” argument resonates with many people. However, far from being a detriment, the tentative nature of science is one of its major assets because it’s always searching for even more-effective solutions as more data and measurement techniques emerge. Also, think about the many technologies and products you use and enjoy. You would not have any of these if the West had stayed trapped in the Mental-Prison (Lineland) Age of trying to use religion to understand and manage the physical world. In addition to the overwhelming force of the certainty illusion, the reason the science community clings so hard to its prerogative is because the alternative historically has been (and in case of creationism still is) religion and mysticism (i.e., mental manipulations “in here” that have nothing to do with the physical world “out there”).

Growing Up Is Hard to Do: Due to the elusive and illusive nature of the human mind, humanity in general, including us in the West, has had a very hard time growing up. The West made a magnificent supraevolutionary ascent with the Science/Enlightenment Revolution that reached its fruition almost two and a half centuries ago. Unfortunately, a major part of that mega-ascent was due to indirectly constructing a new (secular, science) worldview and to restrict (again indirectly) the domain of application of the existing (religious) worldview to exclude the physical world. That handicap of not directly understanding and managing worldviews is a major contributor to many of our current problems. Now, the 2Selfs Revolution will emancipate the auto-self that among many other benefits will empower us to directly understand and manage worldviews. As a result, as we make the next supraevolutionary ascent in the adventure of the human species, we will have (for the first time) the ability to understand and confine the domains of applications of worldviews and their processes (including religions, science, 2Selfs Theory) to their domains of effectiveness.

 

This Is a No-Brainer: You have already seen that with 2Selfs Theory we benefit from drawing an explicit distinction between the supernatural (extra-human) objects of religions and the natural (very-human) mental processes of acquiring, practicing, and experiencing religions. Similarly, we can solve some currently intractable problems by creating an explicit distinction between the mind and the brain in 2Selfs Theory terms. Largely due to certainty-illusion-induced conviction, slippery-slope fear, and the fact that science is not effective for understanding and managing many complex mental activities, the majority of investigators who claim they are working on the mind actually investigate the brain because that is where the science process and worldview are so effective. We should not need an advanced degree in neurophysiology to understand what is happening to us in our human activities including business and politics. Our brain is the 1.4 Kg (3 pounds) of tangible, convoluted gray and white matter that resides in our heads. Our mind is the intangible controller of our realities including our thoughts, knowledge, worldviews, certainty illusions, intuition, beliefs, prejudices, aspirations, values, and intentions. We need to recognize that we have reached the point in the course of human events where we can no longer effectively manage the mental-world ramifications of our prowess in solving physical-world problems. In 2Selfs Theory terms, the supraevolution level of our Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age worldview foundation was sufficient to create our amazing technologies and products but insufficient to manage the human-activities (mental-world) problems they cause. The human mind is a unique entity in the world and it turns out that it requires a unique theory and worldview to understand and manage it. That is what I designed 2Selfs Theory to do, and its repeated successful use (and repeated exposure as with this article and the 2Selfs Revolution book) will automatically construct 2Selfs Worldview that will create the (Spaceland) worldview foundation to solve a broad array of our currently debilitating human-activities (i.e., mental-world) problems.

Analogy between Computer Software and the Human Mind: Employing science processes working within the science worldview is clearly the path to understand brains, including the human brain. However, science and the science worldview are inadequate to understand and manage crucial aspects of the human mind for a variety of reasons, some of which I explain in the 2Selfs Revolution book. Also, the chasm between brain activities and many complex human activities is so great as to make understanding these mental activities at the brain level impossible for practical purposes. For instance, try to identify at the brain level how such mental-level activities as worldviews with their domains of effectiveness, levels of effectiveness, and compartmentalization operate. Try to understand at the brain level certainty illusions, certainty delusions, and the second constructed form of “truth” buried in auto-contexts. How about trying to understand and manage the supraevolution process by examining its brain correlates. To provide another analogy to help you understand the need for a mind-level theory and worldview, think about examining the integrated circuits of computers to try to understand and manage higher-level constructs such as laptop or cellphone applications that most of us use daily for entertainment and to manage our work and professional lives. We have created amazing computer processes by explicitly segmenting the task into different levels. At the bottom and top levels, hardware specialists work on the integrated circuits while software specialists build the applications we use. Computer software will not run without the incredibly intricate and complicated computer hardware supporting it, but software engineers writing applications do not need to understand how semiconductor technology functions. Analogously, the human mind will not run without the incredibly intricate and complicated brain hardware supporting it, but we can understand and manage our mental world without knowing how brain physiology functions. I designed 2Selfs Theory to work at the mind level without any regard to how brain functions create these complicated mental activities (or how transforming our auto-self changes brain functioning, which in turn makes the mental changes we can observe and may desire). Another, somewhat rougher, analogy is between computer operating systems (such as Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android) that provide the foundation for computer applications, and auto-context-based worldviews that provide the foundation for many types of human activities including problem-solving and values maintenance across a broad spectrum of thinking-self and auto-self activities.

Revolutionary vs. Normal Progress: Now that we have a new theory of human nature (i.e., about the automatic part of the human mind) with 2Selfs Theory, new vocabulary terms to identify specific auto-self properties, and 2Selfs Worldview hopefully starting to form within your auto-self, we can address this distinction in a new and more powerful way. The science worldview (or more generally, the thinking-self-empowering worldview), is extremely potent at maximizing the effectiveness of our thinking-self to solve many types of problems especially those directed at the physical world and many directed at the mental world. However, this problem-solving worldview that provided the foundation for most of our progress in the Thinking-Self Age is not adequate to solve our most pressing (and growing) problems in the mental world – those involved with the auto-self (and particularly with auto-contexts [and auto-expertise]). Normal science (in Kuhnian terms*) is a thinking-self activity operating within an existing worldview for each science discipline. Revolutionary science (again, in Kuhnian terms) is an auto-self, and more specifically an auto-context, and even more specifically a problem-solving worldview reconstruction activity. We can benefit by seeing Kuhn’s term “revolutionary” (for a mysterious type of discontinuous progress) as a metaphor that points toward something fundamental that we should name and explain – to a worldview reconstruction, which is a specific type of auto-self activity. When we view Kuhn’s penetrating insight like that, we can generalize it in three ways. First, when we understand “revolutionary” as an auto-context transformation, there’s no reason to limit it to science; as you have seen many times in this article, worldview transformations are human (mental-world) activities that occur in many professions and aspects of life including business, politics, and religion. Second, auto-context transformations don’t just occur through replacement of existing worldviews (a reconstruction process that Kuhn identified for revolutionary science advances); they also occur through adding to current worldviews (a construction process), such as adding 2Selfs Worldview to the empirical “soft” success factors processes in business, which you saw above. Third, auto-context transformations (revolutionary changes) don’t just occur for problem-solving worldviews; they can occur for other types of human activities and particularly for values definition and maintenance. Therefore, when we view “revolutionary” change in 2Selfs Theory terms (and when viewed from within 2Selfs Worldview), we can see it as a supraevolutionary (auto-context) transformation, and since we can now have the ability to manage that process explicitly, we now see positive revolutionary change as a supraevolutionary ascent.

Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

 

2Selfs Revolution not Auto-Self Revolution: For the many types of auto-self-based problems that you have seen above, and many more that others and possibly you will discover, the current thinking-self-empowering processes and (Flatland) worldviews are inadequate. That is why we need the 2Selfs Revolution not just for the overarching (Spaceland) worldviews of the whole West but also for each profession that focuses on human activities. However, we are not talking here about the Auto-Self Revolution but rather the 2Selfs Revolution because we will retain the worldviews and processes (including science) that have been enormously effective during the Thinking-Self Age. Therefore, you can and should keep using processes and the thinking-self-empowering worldview (including science) that will allow you to retain all of your previous human-activities progress because the 2Selfs Revolution is a construction, not a reconstruction, worldview transformation process.

 

2Selfs Age Case Studies for Business Schools: As an excellent example of the additive nature of the 2Selfs Revolution, case studies will remain crucial for business schools, but as we add 2Selfs Worldview, we will recognize that we must first make a determination regarding which aspects of a case are controlled by the thinking-self and which by the auto-self. Then, we can apply the appropriate processes working within the empowering worldview to each part of the problem (case studies here, but the point is general). This will retain all of the previous progress made in analyzing cases and will add much greater capabilities. Previously, case studies necessarily advanced to address auto-self-based success factors, but only indirectly, as they became more important. Now, we can directly address such “soft” success factors as tacit knowledge, culture change, and leadership more powerfully using the understanding and problem-solving lens of 2Selfs Worldview and adding 2Selfs Theory processes to existing analyses techniques.

Advice #4 – Do Not Attempt to Define a New Type of Mega-Cycle

 

Supraevolution Mega-Cycles: The human species has made fundamental progress a few times, and sometimes the West has led the way. Insightful private reviewers of my 2Selfs Revolution book gave me what would normally be sound advice if we were able to continue our successful way of life within the confines of the worldview foundations of the Thinking-Self Age. Actually, most people will not currently understand the nature of this problem, no matter how they frame it or whatever (Flatland) vocabulary they use. However, the worldviews that empowered the Thinking-Self Age for over two centuries and created the enormous successes of the Modern West are in the process of self-destructing as our overall problem-solving foundation. Repeating a key theme of this article, grand progress in the physical world (using the science worldview) created mental-world problems that existing (thinking-self-empowering) worldviews do not provide the foundation for us to solve. The two mega-cycles identified in the 2Selfs Revolution book reveal transformations of the overarching supraevolution level of the West. The insightful and helpful cycles identified within the Thinking-Self Age focused mainly on economic and business cycles. The mega-cycles defined and explained in the 2Selfs Revolution book and outlined here focus on transformations of the top-level, overarching worldview foundations (i.e., specific auto-self constructs) that drive successes and well-being for the West. Because existing mega-cycle models emerged within the thinking-self-centric Modern West (the Thinking-Self Age), they were not based on overarching worldview problem-solving foundations (supraevolution levels), so the supraevolution mega-cycles for the West outlined here are unique and they enable us to understand fundamental success, well-being, and values progress and setbacks for the West. Employing the spatial-dimension allegory, supraevolution mega-cycles exist in a Spaceland environment, whereas existing mega-cycles belong to our Flatland understanding of human nature.

 

Supraevolution Mega-Cycles for West

 

Following are two supraevolution mega-cycles that we have already experienced and a rare third one we must now launch. You will not have seen these mega-cycles before (unless you have read the 2Selfs Revolution book) because they arise from five (auto-self-based, and more specifically auto-context-based) mega-transformations of the worldview foundations (supraevolution levels) that determine the problem-solving ability (and shared-values construction) for the whole West. That is, they are based on specific, previously opaque mental processes.

 

The West’s Five Overarching Supraevolution Transformations

The following bulleted lists explain the state of the West prior to the first mega-ascent and then the five subsequent mega-transformations – three mega-ascents and two mega-descents.

 

Baseline – Dawn of West:

  • “Pointland” from emergence of humans to development of complex languages

  • “Lineland” since the dawn of complex language abilities

    • Polytheism worldview reigns supreme

    • The latent power of human thinking abilities (the thinking-self) remains imprisoned

 

The West’s Mega-Cycle #1

 

Mega-Ascent #1: Philosophy Revolution of Classical Greece

  • Precipitating Event: Emergence of Western philosophy

  • Time Frame: 5th century BCE

  • Mega-Transformation:

    • Secularized problem-solving for physical and mental worlds

    • Emancipated thinking-self for the first time

    • Created the greatness of the ancient West

  • Resulting Overarching Worldviews:

    • Two – religions (polytheism) and philosophy

    • First supraevolutionary ascent from “Lineland” up to “Flatland”

    • Secular problem-solving coexists with polytheism

    • Implicit compartmentalization of two top-level worldviews

  • Provided the Foundation for:

    • Secular, thinking-self-based philosophical investigations into the nature (and to a much lesser extent, management) of the natural physical and mental worlds

    • Hellenistic Period (4th century BCE to 1st century BCE)

    • Roman Empire (1st century BCE to 4th century CE)

    • Both of these periods used but did not improve much the advances from Classical Greece – maintained two overarching worldviews (secular philosophy and polytheistic religions) launched by Classical Greece

 

Mega-Descent #1 Authority Devolution

  • Precipitating Event: Adoption of Christianity by Roman Empire

  • Time Frame: 4th century CE

  • Mega-Transformation:

    • Obliterated secular problem-solving for physical and mental worlds

    • Re-imprisoned the thinking-self

    • Destroyed the greatness of West

  • Resulting Overarching Worldviews:

    • One – Christianity only

    • Supraevolutionary descent from “Flatland” back down to “Lineland”

    • Everything was believed to occur through supernatural agency

    • No compartmentalization possible – just one top-level worldview

  • Provided the Foundation for:

    • Domination of Christianity over other religions

    • Rise of bishop of Rome to pope of Western Christianity

    • The Mental-Prison Age

    • Perpetuated formula of “divine rights of monarchs” and monarchical support of papacy

    • A millennium of ineffective problem-solving for the physical and mental worlds resulting in widespread poverty, monarchical governments, no freedoms, poor health, short lives, no protection against deadly pandemics

 

The West’s Mega-Cycle #2

 

Mega-Ascent #2: Science/Enlightenment Revolution

  • Precipitating Events:

    • The Renaissance (recovery of the secular problem-solving of classical Greece)

    • The breakup of the monolithic Church – the Reformation

    • Copernicus’ treaties on a heliocentric solar system

  • Time Frame: Starting in 16th century 

  • Mega-Transformation:

    • Re-secularized problem-solving for physical and mental worlds

    • Emancipated the thinking-self for the second time

    • Reestablished the greatness of the West

  • Resulting Overarching Worldviews:

    • Two – religions (many, with most people adopting at most one) and science (or more generally, secular thinking-self empowering including predominantly science but also engineering and other secular processes)

    • Supraevolutionary ascent from “Lineland” back up to “Flatland”

    • Reestablished implicit compartmentalization – secular problem-solving coexists with many religions

  • Provided the Foundation for:

    • The Modern West – the Thinking-Self Age

    • Conquering the physical world (science, technologies, products, medicines) – major advance from Classical Greece was the invention of the science methodology and the propagation of the science worldview

    • Significant progress in the mental world from the Enlightenment (representative governments, market economies, industrial revolutions, freedoms)

    • The Abilities Mismatch time bomb that is now blowing up our greatness

 

Mega-Descent #2: Manipulation Devolution

  • Precipitating Events:

    • Abilities Mismatch between how we solved physical-world and mental-world problems in the Thinking-Self Age

    • The advent of the Third Industrial Revolution with its physical-world semiconductor-based digital juggernaut, which started creating mental-world ramifications about four decades ago that we increasingly could not manage effectively

    • Growing widespread discomfort due to the Abilities Mismatch (plus some other discomforts including extremely high immigration levels and terrorist attacks, often exaggerated and stoked by politicians) leads to escalating manipulations

    • The inevitable, highly visible, inflection point as exhibited by Brexit and Duper Don

  • Time Frame:

    • 1970s for the rise of inadequately solved human-activities problems driven by digital technologies

    • 2016 for the tipping point in politics – Brexit and Duper Don

  • Mega-Transformation:

    • The self-destruction of the top-level worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age for solving increasingly complex mental-world problems

    • The emerging end of effectiveness of the science (secular, thinking-self-empowering) worldview for adequately managing the growing mental-world problems its physical-world successes increasingly create

    • In the process of destroying the greatness of West for the second time

  • Resulting Overarching Worldviews:

    • Two (science, religions) but partially imprisoning the thinking-self for mental-world problem-solving due to technology-enhanced auto-self manipulations

    • Science worldview being systematically undermined by the dysfunctional creation “science” worldview

    • Symbolically, we are trapped in Flatland that is starting to flood. We saw the water seeping in (through indirect means, such as metaphors and idioms), and we’ve been trying to stick our fingers in the dike (with empirical processes). Now the deluge (manipulations) is starting to overtop our Flatland, and we had not previously found a way to escape (the 2Selfs Revolution) into the Spaceland (auto-self) dimension from where the flooding originates and must be managed

    • The perception by many of the omnipotence of deities and science, leading to worldview wars and the previous lack of a viable search for a new overarching worldview to manage the mental world – including the ability to understand and manage worldviews

    • Implicit compartmentalization under attack

  • Providing the Foundation for:

    • The collapse of effectiveness of Western models of governing systems

    • The rise of opportunistic and deliberate technology-enhanced manipulations across broad types of human activities as most spectacularly observed in Brexit and Duper Don

    • The rise of white nationalism, xenophobia, and misogyny

    • The march towards the Manipulation Age and a long period of Western mediocrity

    • Raising the alarm that we have indeed reached the end of our greatness within the worldview foundation that provided our previous successes during the Thinking-Self Age

    • Culminating four-decades of decline due to the inability to solve growing mental-world problems created by our spectacular success in conquering the physical world

    • Partially imprisoning the thinking-self due to technology-enhanced auto-self manipulations

    • Led by Duper Don, we are experiencing the destruction of the positive-values worldviews we worked so hard to create and propagate; this is analogous to the destruction of the secular problem-solving worldview at the end of Mega-Cycle #1

 

The West’s Mega-Cycle #3

 

  • Mega-Ascent #3: 2Selfs Revolution

  • Precipitating Events:

    • Growing failures to manage many types of human activities, leading to the collapse of effectiveness of Western political systems

    • Indirect (metaphors and “blind-men-and-elephant”) views of auto-self activities

    • An awakening that increasingly (but indirectly) recognized (the “box,” “soft” success factors, “status quo,” "revolutionary" science, many partial views of two modes, body idioms) the existence and importance of auto-self success factors

    • Emergence of 2Selfs Theory

  • Time Frame: Third decade of 21st century

  • Mega-Transformation:

    • Emancipates the auto-self

    • Will resurrect the greatness of the West

  • Resulting Overarching Worldviews:

    • Three – science, 2Selfs, religions (many, normally at most one at a time for individuals/groups)

    • First ever supraevolutionary ascent from “Flatland” up to “Spaceland”

    • Finally maturing to understand worldview domains of effectiveness and supraevolution

    • First explicit, direct worldview compartmentalizing

  • Provide the Foundation for:

    • Reversing our plunge into the Manipulation Age

    • Creating our supraevolutionary ascent to 2Selfs Age

    • Drastically reducing worldview wars including the dysfunctional one between science and religion (the creationism certainty delusion, which is a holdover from the infancy of human development)

    • Reducing technology-enabled manipulations by constructing personal-responsibilities worldviews

    • Directly managing auto-self aspects of social systems and personal responsibilities

    • Constructing and propagating shared values explicitly rather than implicitly, which has left us vulnerable to regressions as we are now experiencing in many parts of the West

    • Overcoming the Abilities Mismatch that led to the self-destruction of the overall effectiveness of the Third Industrial Revolution and with it the Thinking-Self Age

    • Understanding and managing worldviews including their domains of effectiveness,

    • Understanding and managing worldviews including their levels (and phases) of effectiveness

    • Understanding and managing worldviews including their compartmentalization

    • Understanding and managing worldviews including their role in determining the supraevolution level of a profession and even a whole society

    • Understanding and managing certainty illusions and delusions

    • Understanding and managing a second, constructed form of “truth” that operates independent of (and often opposed to) any correspondence with actual reality

    • Understanding and managing the Comfort Imperative including external manipulations through simplistic solutions and internal manipulations through evasion gimmicks

    • Managing (explicitly) the mental-world aspects and ramifications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to maximize its effectiveness

 

We can all hope that the next mega-descent (#3) will be very far into the future. Right now, we don’t have a clue what a next mega-descent might look like.

Managing the Mental World (Human Activities) – It’s All in Your Mind

 

The Mental World: I have repeatedly distinguished between the physical world and the mental world. We understand and manage the physical world (science, technologies, products, medicines, the brain…) very well because we operate within a science (again, more generally, secular, thinking-self-empowering) worldview. We have not understood the mental world very well, so I frequently put “human activities” in parentheses when I discuss the mental world in order to alleviate some of the mystery associated with “mental world.” Our goal must be as we enter our “Spaceland” phase of human development to establish the same level of capabilities to manage the mental world as we established in our “Flatland” phase of our overall development for managing the physical world.

 

Human Activities: As we make our next grand supraevolutionary ascent to manage human activities, we can benefit by distinguishing between our social systems and personal responsibilities. Most of this article focuses on social systems because our current Abilities Mismatch has reached the point of causing debilitating problems in many social segments, and we have focused on three particular segments. As I have repeatedly asserted, we will not and indeed cannot reverse our demise from greatness and resurrect the greatness of the West unless we conquer the auto-self aspects of our social systems. However, we also have many debilitating personal problems that we now have the opportunity to overcome using 2Selfs Theory operating within the widespread 2Selfs Worldview. These personal issues not only have extremely negative direct impacts on the individual involved (and their families), many of them, including voter vulnerability to manipulations, drug addiction, and antisocial behaviors, also affect societies at large.  

 

Social Systems: This form of human activities is where groups of people operate cooperatively, and they normally have a large number of people who consider it their profession. The three main social segments we have been examining in this article are businesses, politics (or governing systems), and religions because they provide us excellent examples of current dysfunctions and provide great opportunities for visible supraevolutionary ascents. However, many other important social segments exist, including the military, education (universities and K-12), incarceration (prisons, jails, parole) systems, many NGOs, and news organizations.

 

Personal Responsibilities: This form of human activities constitutes the other major mental-world category. The 2Selfs Revolution book closely examines some areas of personal responsibilities and identifies paths for transforming the auto-self to make discontinuous (i.e., auto-self transformations) improvements. For here, I will just list some of the important areas of personal responsibilities that can benefit greatly from understanding and managing the auto-self.

  • Voter vulnerability to manipulations (the future viability of Western forms of government depend on constructing abilities to deal with discomfort and to avoid branding/propaganda and certainty illusions; we can construct these in our universal pre-college education systems)

  • Drug addictions (we can mentally inoculate massive numbers of students starting in grade school by constructing phobia worldviews for recreational drug use)

  • Irresponsible behaviors leading to high incarceration rates, particularly in the US (antisocial behaviors have auto-context [attitudes] and auto-behavior components. We can construct responsible behaviors in our universal education systems)

  • High recidivism rates, particularly in the US (this case will require uncomfortable auto-context [attitudes] and auto-behavior reconstructions as opposed to the auto-self constructions for the above issues)

 

Can We Really Do This in Public Education? You may argue that the first three items above are the responsibilities of parents, but we have overwhelming evidence that hasn’t been working out very well. You also may believe that constructing auto-self-based responsibilities in K-12 education is not appropriate. However, in the 2Selfs Revolution book, you will find we have been doing that indirectly (and successfully) for very long time on one particular topic. Also, at the beginning of the Thinking-Self Age, it would have been unthinkable that we would have universal, taxpayer-funded K-12 education. However, the needs of the first three industrial revolutions increasingly drove us in that direction. The needs for a successful future will now require that we add to thinking-self education some selected auto-self-based constructions, and that is crucial with respect to constructing (into auto-contexts) mental inoculations against voter manipulations, which are running rampant now and will destroy our governing systems if not overcome.

No Escape from the Inevitability of a Mega-Transformation

 

The era of our previous greatness has irretrievably gone away. We are at a major historical turning point in the history of the West: We will either meekly continue our second mega-descent or heroically launch our third mega-ascent.

 

Taking Control of a Positive Future for the West

 

Yes, Supraevolutionary Ascents Do Happen: The possibility of a major, culture-wide supraevolutionary ascent is not just a theoretical possibility identified by 2Selfs Theory. It has happened twice in the past, as you just saw, and I drew a strong analogy from the Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution (that our ancestors accomplished to emancipate the thinking-self) to the 2Selfs Revolution that we now must achieve (to emancipate the auto-self). In (expanded) Kuhnian terms, these are culture-wide, top-level revolutionary (discontinuous or disruptive) advances not normal (continuous or incremental) improvements. In 2Selfs Theory terms, supraevolutionary ascents are auto-self-based worldview transformations not thinking-self-based improvements, no matter how heroic, within an existing worldview foundation.

 

We Live in a Particularly Unstable Time Where We Will Either Continue Our Tragic Mental Devolution or Enjoy a Spectacular Mental Revolution: You have already seen many times with different approaches that the previous greatness of the Thinking-Self Age is no longer available to us. We have started on a mega-descent due to fundamental problems in the foundation of the Thinking-Self Age in the form of the collision between the Abilities Mismatch and the mental-world ramifications of the runaway progress built upon semiconductor technologies. The previous mega-descent lasted over a millennium because our ancestors had no idea what was happening to them at the mental level. Many historical transformations and periods that we now recognize result from retrospective analyses by historians who identify these transitions and eras long after the events occurred, often from a perspective of the effects they later create. We recognize much about major physical events, such as wars and landing on the moon, while we are in them. However, we rarely recognize major mental events with any perspective while we are in the process of experiencing them. Thus, such major periods we now recognize as the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Science Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the first three industrial revolutions historians only identified in retrospect. We do now see the prescient projection of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chair of the World Economic Forum; however, he mainly focuses on the technology side of this revolution and identifies major problems (but not solutions) we will encounter in our human activities. As I claimed earlier (and you can see my deeper analysis here), the Fourth Industrial Revolution will not happen successfully unless we simultaneously launch the 2Selfs Theory Revolution to explicitly manage the mental-world ramifications of the technologies tsunami that is crashing over us. I have boldly proclaimed in this article that we are currently in a mega-descent, which I refer to as the Manipulation Devolution. I also claim that we now have the unprecedented opportunity to take explicit actions to launch a new supraevolutionary ascent – the 2Selfs Revolution. Repetition is necessary here (to form 2Selfs Worldview within you), so I have listed some of the symptoms of this mental devolution in business, politics, and religion (and repeated some other 2Selfs concepts) several times (with some variations and from different perspectives). That is the easier part; the more difficult part is to explain, while we are in the midst of the process, why these visible dysfunctions are symptoms of a major transformation of the West. This time, with 2Selfs Theory, we can see clearly what is happening at the auto-self level (and more specifically within the auto-context type of auto-self activities and then within the worldview form of our auto-context activities). Therefore, for the first time, we can understand the fundamental, systemic nature of our current decline while we are still in it, so we have an opportunity to pull off a quick “phoenix” act and rise out of the Manipulations Chasm before we crash and burn. That is why it is essential to launch the 2Selfs Revolution quickly so that we can reverse our downward plunge before it creates irreparable damage. The tremendous advantage we have now, which was never before possible, is we understand the supraevolution process, and that empowers us to understand and manage worldview foundations so we can directly create our crucially needed supraevolutionary ascent to resurrect the greatness of the West. It won’t be easy, but the alternative would be unacceptably tragic for us citizens of the West.

 

Addition, not Substitution, Worldview Transformations: The advent of secularized problem-solving and the emancipation to the thinking-self by the Science/Enlightenment Revolution did not mean the world became anti-religious or even un-religious; it just meant we needed to manage domains of effectiveness, which we learned to do indirectly. Likewise, the emancipation of the auto-self through the 2Selfs Revolution does not and cannot mean the West becomes antiscience (or even unscientific or less scientific) and should not mean the West becomes anti-religious (or even un-religious or less religious). These supraevolutionary ascents occur through constructions of additional top-level worldviews not replacements (reconstructions) of existing worldviews. This now requires us to manage (explicitly, as opposed to implicitly as with the Science/Enlightenment Revolution) domains of effectiveness and to compartmentalize (again, for the first time explicitly) our three overarching worldviews so we can use science, 2Selfs Theory, and religions simultaneously and effectively. As large numbers of people use 2Selfs Theory, 2Selfs Worldview will gradually and imperceptibly emerge to create our new 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age problem-solving and positive-values maintenance capabilities.

 

Surprisingly, and Most Unfortunately, We Are Still Trapped in the Childhood of the Maturation of the Human Species: We in the West do not solve the universe of problems facing us as effectively as we have long congratulated ourselves that we do. Previously, we justifiably celebrated how well we were doing because we made enormous progress in the physical world and significant progress in the mental world. In the midst of all that, we have been blindsided by the fact that we are actually getting worse at some types of problem-solving than we previously were because our amazing capabilities in the physical world have created unintended consequences for us in the mental world, which our (thinking-self-centric) theories and worldviews do not manage adequately. If you want to see overwhelming evidence that we in the West have not effectively reached a widespread adult problem-solving level, just notice that a recent survey* indicated that roughly half of the people in the United States are not sure that the world is more than 10,000 years old. We need to get better control of ourselves – we need to grow up! There must be a fundamental, previously unrecognized mechanism that can cause so many people to believe in the fairy tale that the earth, the universe, and life are only a few thousand years old, and now we understand clearly what has been missing.Relentless religious organizations and leaders have constructed a dysfunctional creationism worldview into the auto-self (and more specifically into auto-contexts) of way too many victims. With 2Selfs Theory, we can now understand that we undermine our future successes and well-being when we don’t manage to confine the use of our worldviews to operate within their domains of effectiveness. Even more startling, we must first move to have a widespread explicit understanding that worldview activities exist (even though we cannot directly recognize them) and the decisive effects they have on our successes, well-being, and values. To have a successful future, we must achieve a supraevolution level where it becomes obvious to the vast majority of citizens that creationism is just a dysfunctional mental construction (i.e., a certainty delusion) that has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical world and so-called creation “science” not only is not science but is actually antiscience.

  * https://ncse.com/library-resource/americans-scientific-knowledge-beliefs-human-evolution-year

  

The Foundation of Human Progress: The long emergence of the human species (along with other species) proceeded through the process of biological evolution through natural selection, which we have now known about from Darwin for a century and a half. We should note that his discoveries were only possible because a generation before him geologists had created a science supraevolutionary ascent in their domain by figuring out that the earth is vastly older than the previously believed six thousand years, thus providing an old-age worldview for Darwin that made discovering the process of biological evolution possible. It’s also worth noting that these geology discoveries that revealed the antiquity of earth occurred shortly after the beginning of the Thinking-Self Age that provided a secular (science) worldview and systematic processes to understand and manage the physical world. While biological evolution, through a very long time span, produced the human species, fundamental progress and setbacks for the West over the last two and a half millennia occurred not through biological evolution but through worldview supraevolution. Until now, the supraevolution process more or less happened to us. With the advent of 2Selfs Theory, the use of which will automatically construct 2Selfs Worldview, we have now reached a new (adult) supraevolution level of human capabilities where we can explicitly manage the worldview-based supraevolution process.

 

Metaphors Alert Us that We Have Mysterious Problems; New Theories and Worldviews Empower Us to Solve Those Problems: Come on, how many metaphors are we going to stack up that point to the mysterious auto-self while we continue to expect and accept failures of companies with long histories of success and suffer through inadequate standards of living increases due to insufficient productivity gains before we take action to conquer the auto-self? Here are some business metaphors we use that serve as indirect pointers to auto-self activities.

  • “Soft” success factors (a general term indirectly referring to any type of auto-self activities)

  • “Status quo” (referring to the difficulty in reconstructing a culture – due to certainty illusions and the Comfort Imperative)

  • “Art” of leadership (as opposed to management “science”), or just the current vague distinction between management and leadership (giving insight to the lack of understanding that the thinking-self executes “management” activities while the auto-self executes most of “leadership” activities.)

  • “People process” from the excellent book Execution (identifies a wide variety of auto-self activities and stresses the importance of these “people processes” [revealing yet another metaphor pointing to our auto-self])

  • “Tacit” knowledge from the insightful and helpful book, The Knowledge Creating Company (where the authors conflate auto-contexts, auto-expertise, and even auto-skills as tacit knowledge)

  • Thinking outside the “box” (a very weak “Flatland” metaphor that we now know refers to trying to understand and manage activities outside of an embedded worldview, a “Spaceland” concept)

  • Capturing their minds and “hearts” (indicating getting their thinking-self and auto-self on board, where “heart” is yet another metaphor pointing toward the auto-self)

 

We Must Stop Dancing Around Flatland Shadows: We cannot resurrect the greatness of the West by dancing around the shadows of the auto-self (or even grabbing hold of one or a few of its properties). The greatness of the West for the first two centuries of the Thinking-Self Age could not have happened without the combined Science and Enlightenment Revolutions that emancipated the thinking-self and in doing so empowered us to conquer the physical (science, technology, products, medicines…) world and do an adequate job of managing the mental (human activities) world for two centuries. We will not be able to resurrect the greatness of the West and give ourselves the opportunity for another long period of stupendous achievement unless we launch the 2Selfs Revolution. That will emancipate the auto-self and empower us to conquer the mental world, thus allowing us to manage the human-activities (social-systems and personal-responsibilities) ramifications of our expanding and rapidly accelerating progress in the physical world. The metaphor examples in the previous paragraph are some of those we use for business, and as you might expect, parallel examples occur for many areas of human activities.

Reversing the Demise of the West's Political Systems

 

Western Political Systems Cannot Accommodate Sustained Discomfort: As the mental-world ramifications of the Third Industrial Revolution became increasingly unmanageable, that caused the worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age to become progressively ineffective, and that led to rising auto-self manipulations often in the form of “isms.” Prominent destructive examples include populism, nationalism (in a time of growing globalization), socialism (in spite of repeated historical failures over any extended timeframe and the human-nature failure to unleash passion to succeed), and creationism (a frontal assault on our massively powerful science worldview for solving problems in the physical world). When viewed from within 2Selfs Worldview, we can now understand the real nature of the recurring movement called “populism,” and we can also see why it is on the rise today. Political populism movements (in common with religious revivals or "awakenings") arise as escape mechanisms whenever widespread discomfort emerges. We are suffering from huge discomfort now as we struggle through the many manifestations of the end game of the Thinking-Self Age. As you now understand, discomfort makes us vulnerable to simplistic solutions and therefore to manipulations. The two most dramatic examples of current political discomfort-based manipulations are Brexit and Duper Don, but we also see movements in many other countries in the West. Populism arises from the left and from the right because when people experience sustained discomfort, they become vulnerable to manipulations from a wide variety of opportunists and charlatans. Now, with powerful technology-enabled communications channels available to manipulators, the situation has become critical. As we move to the next level of human development, we need to start being more clear about what is happening to us including understanding “populism” for what it really is – discomfort-based manipulations of the auto-self of vulnerable voters – and possibly renaming it something like "voter manipulations" or “discomfort manipulations.” The 2Selfs Revolution book identifies many ways to extricate ourselves from this Manipulation Chasm we have fallen into as the Third Industrial Revolution devours itself. The last major nationalist/populist thrust in the West (caused by rampant discomfort in the aftermath of defeat in World War I, along with the odious terms of surrender at Versailles that many Germans found humiliating, and the Great Depression) led to the devastations of World War II. Those precipitating events were cyclical. Currently, we are experiencing a systemic mega-descent, so the discomfort will continue unless we launch a supraevolutionary ascent (mental revolution) to overcome the Abilities Mismatch that is the underlying cause of our descent from greatness.

 

What Is the Underlying Nature of Overarching Supraevolutionary Ascents? During the Worldview-Wars Age (a.k.a., the Science Revolution), the combatants thought they were fighting a battle between the “word of God” and the “laws” of science (or nature). However, we can now look back and see they were really fighting an indirect, proxy battle over whether a religion or a science worldview (buried in the auto-self of many citizens) was best suited to understand and manage the physical world. In its simplest form, we can see this battle as whether it is best to pray to stop lightning from destroying a church by striking its steeple or to use a lightning rod (or using religious processions to try to stop a pandemic, which is sadly counterproductive, vs. creating a vaccine or antibiotic). How might we describe the equivalent internal mental battle we now must wage to launch the 2Selfs Revolution? That is, what is the underlying mental struggle you are likely facing now? It is very important that we understand the process that must occur because we need to create this next supraevolutionary ascent explicitly rather than try to struggle through it implicitly (i.e., have it happen, or fail to happen, to us). If you fail to see the need for the 2Selfs Revolution, or if you just don’t think it affects you and you need to participate, try to dig into the basis of your resistance after all you have just seen in this article. Are you like some of my reviewers where you feel a strong need to preserve the “status quo” and “not rock the boat” on controversial issues? In 2Selfs Theory terms, do you have an unrecognized certainty illusion embedded deeply in your auto-self that blocks you from recognizing the (success-resurrecting) need for supraevolutionary change? Are you afraid the 2Selfs Revolution will undermine some of the important work you’ve done in your career (remember, 2Selfs Worldview is additive to our current two worldviews – it does not replace them; therefore previous progress, such as the empirical theories in business, remain as effective as they ever were and now can become even more effective)? Does it offend your political or religious sensitivities? You might want to notice that I do not take any stand regarding conservative or progressive political persuasions. I also remain positive regarding religious activities that operate within the domain of effectiveness of religions; in fact, I even identify ways to make religions more consistently effective. With respect to politics and religion, (and business), I have analyzed specific auto-self-based dysfunctions wherever they occur. Perhaps, as several reviewers of my 2Selfs Revolution book did, you may believe our current situation is not drastic enough to require an overarching mental revolution. You may believe that evolutionary (or “normal” in Kuhn’s terms, or continuous or incremental) improvements will be sufficient to solve the pressing problems we currently face and we don’t need revolutionary (or discontinuous or disruptive) change. In 2Selfs Theory terms, do you believe we can solve our currently intractable problems within the worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age by just using better thinking-self processes? If so, I have not yet communicated effectively enough with you. Specifically, 2Selfs Worldview has not yet emerged strongly enough within your auto-self so that the need for revolutionary change has become obvious to you – it takes repeated exposure to make that automatically happen – please keep reading and absorbing.

 

Resorting to Simplistic Solutions to Solve Increasingly Complex Problems – Really? With the acceleration of technologies across broad fronts leading to the identification of the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution tsunami, and with growing global competition and business interactions based at least partially on advances in communications and transportation, how would you assess the state of the complexity we must deal with? It seems excessively naïve to deny that life in the West is becoming increasingly complex. So, why in the world would anyone suppose that we can solve this increasing complexity by retreating to simplistic solutions? It strains credulity to think simplistic solutions can actually help us with our prosperity and well-being, yet that is happening widely now. That is, we unknowingly retreat to relieving our immediate discomfort no matter how great the cost to our long-term successes. We must look for explanation as to why so many business people wildly embraced the feel-good “sustainable success” genre of books, why the emperor of simplistic solutions, Duper Don, can rise to power, and why creationism is gaining increasing traction. When we start regressing to simplistic solutions to solve increasingly complex problems, we need to step back and realize that we are on a tragic failure path. If we don’t see a clear path to manage increasingly complex problems (in this case, because it has not previously been available for our growing mental-world problems), we become vulnerable to externally generated seduction traps in the form of simplistic solutions, as indicated above, and to internally driven evasion gimmicks. Now, we at last have the tools to overcome this compulsive decline by using 2Selfs Theory operating within 2Selfs Worldview.

 

For Those Duper Don Supporters Who Are Not Part of His Hard-Core Base: Many people support Duper Don because he embraces topics they support including white nationalists, misogynists, and xenophobes. His hard-core supporters also include business people who focus solely on their profits without any regard for the environment or the legacy they leave for posterity, including destroying the “glue” (i.e., worldviews) that holds our governing systems together. Duper Don also appeals to those wealthy people and corporations who want tax cuts for themselves at any cost to our national debt and the legacy we pass on to future generations and to many religious sects and leaders who favor rolling back some of the positive values we have established, including multiculturalism. These groups represent his passionate base, and they don’t seem to care that he lacks the ability to acquire adequate knowledge, is temperamentally unstable, is a compulsive bully, and is incapable of understanding much less formulating comprehensive strategic plans. However, there is also a large segment of high intelligence, moral people who have simply fallen for Duper Don’s manipulations in the form of stoking discomfort, negatively branding any person or group that get in his way, and deliberately spewing out the most disinformation and Big Lies (propaganda) of any leader in the West since Hitler. This group of Duper Don’s supporters should strive to understand and manage automatic human activities so they can do their part to resurrect the governing systems of the United States and West before we sink so far, as England is coming close to doing, that any recovery of our former greatness will be long delayed if it ever occurs.  

 

The “Perfect” Call! When Duper Don repeatedly refers to his July 25, 2019 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “perfect,” we can now understand that Flatland statement from a Spaceland perspective. We now know that worldviews are not just the way we somehow view the world (a common Flatland perspective) but are specific mental constructs within the auto-self – auto-contexts (a Spaceland perspective). So as the impeachment public testimony got underway and Duper Don continued to insist that the call was “perfect,” he not only took away some of the possible defenses for his apologists, he revealed to us a fundamental aspect of his internal worldviews. From within Duper Don’s worldview, it seems he really cannot understand what was wrong with that phone call because it is consistent with how he has behaved his entire adult life. After all, what could be wrong with intimidating, extorting, manipulating, bribing, and cheating? Those mechanisms have created business successes and catapulted him to the presidency of the United States. They also allowed him to create worldviews in many acolytes who have become unable to see even his most egregious lying and cheating, and they have enabled him to intimidate most congressional members of his own party so that he expects them to support him out of fear and obedience. The rest of us need to face the problem of whether we can afford to let someone with his internal worldview destroy the inner workings of our governing systems by continuing to manipulate the auto-contexts of increasing numbers of citizens. Are we going to “get over it” as Duper Don’s third Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, notoriously admonished us or are we going to take decisive, auto-self-based, actions to resurrect the viability of our governing systems?

Mega-Cycle or Minor Cycle? An issue that should terrify most people in the West is that we are not in another economic, political, business, or war cycle. We are at the end of a supraevolution cycle due to the Abilities Mismatch because we have finally reached the point where our physical-world (technology) progress has overwhelmed our ability to manage the mental-world (human activities including our social systems and personal responsibilities) problems created by our technology prowess. The (digital technologies) Third Industrial Revolution of the West has now created such problems in the mental world that it has rendered the supraevolution level of the venerable Thinking-Self Age untenable as the foundation to perpetuate our previous greatness. As a result, we have descended into the Manipulation Chasm period, and the only visible way to resurrect the greatness of the West is to ascend to a higher supraevolution level where we can manage the auto-self – we must launch the 2Selfs Revolution. The technology side of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue unabated, but our current inability to maximize its fruits and overcome its consequences to the mental world will greatly undermine its potential advantages unless we simultaneously launch the 2Selfs Revolution.

Our Enduring Values Reside in Shared Worldviews

 

Constructing Widespread Positive Values: The positive-values progress that the West was able to achieve during the Thinking-Self Age, including eliminating slavery, drastically reducing capital punishment and torture, creating rights for women, racial minorities, gays, different religions, and other previously marginalized groups, and establishing widespread freedoms, opportunities, and dignity has nothing to do with biological evolution. Our biological nature remains brutish – a remnant of distant natural-selections battles for survival. All of our civilizing values ascents have come indirectly through the supraevolution process. That is, without realizing that was what we were doing, we struggled through very difficult times including wars and persecutions and finally (indirectly) constructed and propagated positive-values worldviews. That is the good news. The bad news is our enduring values have resided in a thin veneer of indirectly constructed worldviews that the West has not understood well enough to manage directly, so they are extremely vulnerable to deconstructions. We see that now in many parts of the West and dramatically in the US under the leadership of the amoral (at best) leadership of Duper Don. We also saw this happen spectacularly during Hitler’s Germany. Most of what you have seen in this article has focused on understanding and managing automatic human activities so that we can resurrect our business successes, economic prosperity (including systematic, widespread improvements to standards of living), and political stability in the West. However, just as happened after the Enlightenment Revolution where we gradually and painfully started managing values by indirectly constructing positive-values worldviews, as we launch the 2Selfs Revolution, we will finally have the opportunity to manage values by directly constructing positive-values worldviews. The 2Selfs Revolution book delves into this much further.

 

Constructing Positive-Values Worldviews vs. Destroying Them: Duper Don is constructing dysfunctional worldviews in the form of his negative branding and compulsive disinformation including his Big Lies (as Hitler did). However, with respect to our hard-won shared positive values in the United States, he is not so much constructing new negative-values worldviews; rather, he is destroying (deconstructing) the positive-values worldviews (as Hitler spectacularly did) that we have propagated throughout society through a long and painful process. As stated above, our values reside in worldviews we create and propagate; when we strip away those positive worldviews, we regress to our brutish biological nature – to the way we treated each other before we learned to construct (indirectly) shared positive values (into the auto-self). Duper Don is the epitome of the demise of the greatness of the West including being almost a caricature of the degradation of our values. Just watch his political rallies where he lies repeatedly, uses foul language, grossly denigrates every person and organization that he feels is a threat to his narcissism, and insights violence (in a way that he can later say he was just joking or provide some other form of plausible deniability, while his slavishly obedient acolytes absorb his messages). Defining, propagating, and maintaining positive-values worldviews is a very difficult process, especially when we do it indirectly, which has been the case throughout the Thinking-Self Age. It is a tremendous tribute to the people involved during the Thinking-Self Age that they made so much progress. Unfortunately, tearing down our hard-won positive values (i.e., deconstructing the values worldviews we have so slowly but tenaciously struggled to construct) is not so difficult because it takes us back to our basic biological nature. It just takes unscrupulous individuals and groups hell-bent on dragging us back to our ruthless biological nature.

 

We Must Get Off Our Values Slippery Slope: With Duper Don, the US is witnessing a tragic values devolution (and even the destruction of civil public discourse). As Hitler did in Germany, Duper Don is systematically and progressively deconstructing layers of worldview-based values (that is, auto-context-based values constructed into the auto-self of the majority of US citizens). The slippery slope comes in because as he strips away each new layer, it becomes easier to remove an additional civilizing auto-context layer until many people sink into their basic animal level without the civilizing worldviews we have indirectly constructed so laboriously. In the US, we have enough constitutional checks and balances and still a critical mass of citizens who have not drunk Duper Don’s values-destroying “Kool-Aid” that he should not be able to destroy all of our positive values, but I don’t think it will be for lack of trying on his part. As we enter 2Selfs Age, we will be able to identify, construct, propagate, and maintain positive values explicitly as opposed to the implicit way we have been doing it. Therefore, we should be able to recover from the current values descent in the US and some other parts of the West much more quickly than we originally constructed them. However, deconstructing our values will always be a much easier process because any inhumane person or group with a platform can currently do it. That is still another reason why we need to start constructing auto-context-based responsibilities throughout Western societies.

We All Need to Recognize We Are in Deep Trouble When We Resort to Widespread Pretending

 

Managing Our Discomfort-Based Pretending: Our growing widespread discomfort has led to a self-destructive increase in pretending. Pretending (in the form of rationalizing) can provide a useful mechanism to manage our discomfort (and help us cope) when something happens to us over which we have no practical control. Common examples include losing a job (“it was time to move on to the next phase of my career anyway”) or being jilted by a lover (“this relationship has been failing for some time; I am ready for a change”). Fantasies of grandeur can motivate people to greater achievement. Also, fantasizing can give us pleasure, but we need to learn to manage when we pretend or fantasize or play make-believe so we don’t end up undermining our successes, well-being, and positive values. When we fantasize we are solving a crucial complex problem using simplistic solutions, we end up relieving our short-term discomfort at the enormous expense of pretending ourselves into the long-term pain of failure. When we pretend or fantasize or use other evasion gimmicks when we have important problems to solve, we surrender our ability to secure a successful future. The West is currently doing that with fantasies of grandiose formulas for “sustainable” business success in a world of accelerating technology-driven change, pretending that knowledge-challenged Duper Don is capable of understanding strategies and solving complex social problems, and regressing to the belief from the infancy of humankind that somehow we can use religion to understand and manage the physical world. We will not and cannot pretend our way into a successful future in our technology-driven, increasingly complex West by using simplistic solutions. We must figure out how to manage our increasing mental-world complexity. Therefore, we need to find a way to manage automatic human activities, and as of now, 2Selfs Theory operating within 2Selfs Worldview is the only viable way for us to do that for a critical mass of currently unsolvable problems. Also, as people start seeing human activities through the lens of 2Selfs Worldview, they will become much better at recognizing when they are pretending in an effort to ameliorate their immediate discomfort instead of actually solving crucial problems to put themselves on a path for the enduring pleasure of a long-term series of successes.

 

Pretending Mechanisms that We Overcame with the Science Revolution: The human mind works in strange ways, but we can now do a much better job of understanding and managing human nature across a broad front of human activities. For instance, we know it is possible to become trapped within a pretend worldview for a very long time for whole societies. That happened for an excruciatingly long millennium during the Mental-Prison Age where the whole West had a top-level worldview constructed generation after generation that everything in the physical world operated through supernatural agency. The Science/Enlightenment Revolution finally overcame that widespread pretending for the physical world and for much of the mental world. We now understand the mental process that made that possible was the indirect management of our top-level worldviews. The West greatly reduced its widespread pretending by slowly, painfully, and implicitly making some changes to its overarching worldview structure, including:

  • The (indirect) construction of a new secular (science) problem-solving worldview

  • The (indirect) restriction of religion worldviews to their domain of effectiveness (namely, avoid the physical world)

  • The (indirect) compartmentalization of science and religions worldviews to enable coexistence

 

Pretending Mechanisms that We Will Overcome with the 2Selfs Revolution: Fast forward to our current situation. We can now distinguish between thinking-self-based situational pretending and pretending that is so persistent that it migrates into an auto-context to become a certainty illusion or delusion.

Our future greatness depends on finally managing our worldviews explicitly including the ability to reveal auto-context-based long-term pretending:

  • Directly constructing the new secular (2Selfs) worldview for managing the mental world

  • Directly restricting religion worldviews to avoid the physical world (creationism)

  • Directly expanding religions worldviews to participate effectively in defining shared positive values, which would create a supraevolutionary ascent for religions

  • Directly focusing the science worldview primarily on the physical world (and some [particularly non-auto-context-based] aspects of the mental world)

  • Directly compartmentalizing science, 2Selfs, and religion worldviews to empower coexistence

  • Directly constructing and maintaining shared positive values

 

Learning to Manage Our Pretending: Yes, we now understand the certainty-illusion process and that it is not only possible but fairly easy to construct dysfunctional worldviews that cause people to pretend (believe) that simplistic solutions can solve complex problems. Massive numbers of otherwise sophisticated business people fell for the simplistic-solution “best practices” books that caused them to pretend that the authors had found a magical elixir for “sustainable success” through literature searches and retrospective interviews. In our time of escalating complexity and accelerating change, these business people fantasized they could somehow navigate the uncharted and rocky terrain ahead by staring in the rearview mirror. An excellent observation about this pretending in the business world came from George Anders of the Wall Street Journal who wrote that Good to Great “offered a picture of the business world somewhere between Norman Rockwell and Mr. Rogers – a simple and reassuring place of homespun values and old fashioned virtues where everyone feels safe and secure.” In 2016, the Brexit promoters and Duper Don somehow convinced enough people to pretend that their empty sloganeering, such as “make America great again,” (with only smoke and mirrors behind them, such as “I will build a wall and have Mexico pay for it”) could actually solve our growing problems, which resulted in dysfunctional, greatness-destroying outcomes. Independent of the pros and cons of Brexit, the proponents offered simplistic solutions to dupe many voters by exploiting their growing discomfort. And we know, generations after science had revealed the origins of the universe, earth, and life (including humans), many people still fantasize that the whole universe with all its life was somehow magically created in a blink of an eye about 6000 years ago. Yes, pretending and fantasizing can be useful to help us deal with many challenges we encounter in life, but we have to weigh benefits of each instance of pretending against any costs it may extract for future successes and well-being. The examples just given, and a huge and growing list of other forms of pretending, are both causes of and signs of the fact that we have entered the Manipulation Chasm.

 

Finally Overcoming Pretending to Take Control of Auto-Self Management: The first phase of the maturation of problem solving in the West came in the form of secular philosophical investigations into the physical and mental worlds. After a very long subsequent period of mental imprisonment, the West launched the next phase of our greatness by slogging through the Science/Enlightenment Revolution to emancipate the thinking-self. Just try to think about the types of lives you and I and those around us would be living if our predecessors had not heroically overcome (transformed) their previous (supernatural-only worldview) pretending to emancipate the thinking-self. Now, try to visualize what our life, and more importantly the lives of our posterity, will be like in the future if we do not finally (and heroically) overcome our pretending about many of our beliefs to emancipate the auto-self. The resurrection of the greatness of the West requires a supraevolutionary ascent at the top level to 2Selfs Age, but that will only happen through a series of supraevolutionary ascents in many disciplines including the three we have focused on in this article – business, and yes politics and religion. Too many auto-self activities have been happening to us including the certainty illusion, worldview management, simplistic solutions, evasion gimmicks, and the supraevolution process itself. The 2Selfs Revolution will transform the West from having auto-self activities happen to us as we struggle trying to manage them indirectly to empowering us to understand and manage them directly to our enormous benefits as we move to resurrect the greatness of the West.

"Spaceland" Visibility into Human Nature

 

Why Important Aspects of Human Nature Have Remained Hidden to Us: As we dig deeper into human nature, we can now understand the sources of many of our problems come from the mental trap that one of the primary, previously unrecognized, properties of human nature is that some of its most profound realities have blocked us from understanding human nature adequately until now. This is an astonishing observation given how much education we now have and how many brilliant researchers investigate widespread aspects of human activities (because symbolically we have been stuck in Flatland while intruders from Spaceland have mysteriously been causing us problems). As you know by now, the reason we have failed to penetrate important aspects of human nature adequately is because of the elusiveness and illusiveness of the auto-self, and particularly our auto-contexts.

 

Evolution of the Mind/Brain System: Investigators created many helpful insights into human nature during the Enlightenment period and during the Thinking-Self Age, but that all occurred within a Flatland perspective. Now we can penetrate human nature more powerfully and helpfully by investigating it from a Spaceland perspective. Evolution has played some rather cruel tricks on us. Our brain/mind system evolved in such a way that it left us very strange mental artifacts that we have been doing our best to work around for a very long time. This co-evolution of our brain and mind was a rather messy affair because biological evolution occurred at the brain level whereas many of the selection attributes occurred at the mind level. The result was often hijacking previous brain functions, which were no longer crucial, that could be repurposed to provide beneficial mental properties. That left us with an amazingly potent thinking-self that operates within a very messy auto-self framework that depends on brain structures distributed in strange ways, which has resulted in many of the counterproductive and even dysfunctional mental processes we have been struggling to recognize, understand, and manage indirectly. As you probably understood somewhat intuitively or through your professional work and as you understand much better now after reading this far, the nature of the auto-self is such that it operates in the background in a way that it invisibly supports such beneficial attributes as language and image processing. It also creates contextual frameworks (auto-context-based worldviews) so we can communicate effectively and solve complex problems. However, along with providing these hidden benefits that operate outside of our conscious (thinking-self-based) awareness (thought streams), the opaque and sometimes strange nature of our automatic activities repeatedly causes many problems at the social and individual levels. In the West, the Ancient Greeks first started studying many of the nuances of human nature during the Philosophy Revolution. An astonishing two millennia later (wow, have we ever struggled to understand and manage our auto-contexts including their incarnations as problem-solving worldviews), philosophers dug even deeper into understanding and managing human nature during the European Enlightenment period. During the Thinking-Self Age, that progress resulted in establishing many mechanisms to leverage or overcome aspects of human nature to achieve desired benefits including formalizing individual freedoms, checks and balances in governments, constitutional separation of church and state in the US, and the advent of market economies that drive prosperity. Also during this period, psychologists and other researchers have revealed many other aspects of human nature including through classical and operant conditioning.

 

The Nature of Fundamental, Discontinuous Progress (and Massive Setbacks): It is now manifestly obvious that biological evolution has provided the human species with an amazingly effective thinking ability that allows us to solve extremely complex problems. However, it has not been obvious that we can only unleash our amazing latent thinking power if we construct an empowering worldview within our auto-self. In the West, the Ancient Greeks first did that indirectly about 2.5 millennia ago when they launched the Philosophy Revolution. A few centuries later, the West suffered through the Authority Devolution, which removed the thinking-self-empowering worldview, effectively emasculating complex thinking abilities for the next millennium. Then, beginning with the Renaissance and continuing through the Science/Enlightenment Revolution, the West (indirectly) re-created and propagated a new and even more powerful worldview to emancipate the thinking-self for a second time. This time, the benefits were so great that it became impossible to destroy the thinking-self-empowering worldview a second time. The Philosophy and Science/Enlightenment Revolutions are grand examples of what supraevolutionary ascents look like at the top level of a whole culture – the underlying (human nature) process, which has previously been unknown to us, comes from the invention and widespread propagation of a new top-level worldview into the auto-self of citizens.

 

Emancipation of Our Latent Mental Capabilities: Because of the elusive nature (most of its activities occur outside of our natural awareness, which is often an asset but increasingly is becoming a detriment) and illusive nature (many of its activities confuse, mislead, and emasculate our thinking abilities, and we have not recognized when that happens) of automatic human activities, we have struggled to understand and manage our auto-self explicitly. Because biological evolution has provided us with an amazing latent, complex thinking ability that sometimes mysteriously can operate very effectively and other times cannot, it was inevitable that eventually  societies would create and propagate worldviews that maximize the effectiveness of our thinking-self `capabilities. The West did that twice but only indirectly. Since we now understand that the auto-self also exists and has such an overwhelming influence on so many aspects of our lives including our prosperity, well-being, health, and values, it was also inevitable that eventually we would figure out how to understand and manage it explicitly. That is the main purpose of 2Selfs Theory and the 2Selfs Revolution, including the widespread inculcating of 2Selfs Worldview.

 

The Major Factors That Precipitated the Science Revolution: Many factors converged to start the emancipation of the thinking-self during the Renaissance including the sacking of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, which caused the emigration to Italy of many scholars who retained knowledge of the advances of Classical Greece. Another contributor was the degradation of the papacy as best exemplified by the decadence of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI, 1492-1503) and his children (including the infamous Cesare – the model for Machiavelli’s The Prince), followed by the indulgences fiasco of Pope Leo X that precipitated the Protestant Reformation (1517), thus breaking up the worldview stranglehold of the monolithic Christian church. Additionally, the invention of the movable type printing press (for the West, about 1450) finally opened up the possibility of wide distribution of new concepts. Also, the wave of explorations leading to the discovery of lands not known in the Bible, starting with Columbus in 1492, and the growing realization that the earth is not flat, began to shake the foundation of biblical inerrancy. These were some of the factors that set the stage for Copernicus to take the extraordinary step in 1543 to challenge the biblical (and intuitively appealing and certainty-illusion propagating) view of a geocentric universe, thus launching the Science Revolution.

 

The Big Picture of Why We Have Failed to Conquer Our Auto-Self

 

It is difficult to see the limits of our understanding the auto-self from our “Flatland” perspective. However, as the West gradually ascends into the “Spaceland” worldview foundation, understanding and managing the auto-self will still not become a walk in the park because we normally do not notice when we take counterproductive actions to escape our discomforts and cannot directly recognize our auto-context contents that control our realities.

 

No Wonder Supraevolutionary Ascents Are So Rare

 

The Three Major Auto-Self Challenges: Two main factors are converging to lead to the demise of greatness of the West. With 2Selfs Theory, we now can recognize these and have the ability to manage them explicitly for the first time. As you now know, the culprits are the Abilities Mismatch and runaway progress built upon digital technologies, which have finally crashed into each other. We can see the ramifications of this collision in many areas including in the ones that we analyzed in this article in business, politics, and religion. To review, here are the three main auto-self challenges that we must learn to understand clearly and manage explicitly:

Auto-Self Challenge #1 – Auto-Behavior-Based  Comfort Imperative. When discomfort exceeds people’s tolerance threshold, that automatically creates growing vulnerability to external seduction traps often in the form of simplistic solutions and internal pretending through evasion gimmicks.

Auto-Self Challenge #2 – Auto-Context-Based Worldviews. With their domains of effectiveness, levels (and phases) of effectiveness, compartmentalization, and determination of the supraevolution level of professions and even whole societies, worldviews control our ability to solve complex problems and construct, propagate, and maintain shared positive values among other attributes.

Auto-Self Challenge #3 – Auto-Context-Based Certainty Illusions. This deceptive auto-self mechanism creates nearly unshakable confidence (beliefs) “in here” that is independent of any correspondence to facts in the world “out there” and often completely opposed to known facts (certainty delusions). It also produces the insidious constructed form of “truth” that is often unrelated and even opposed to any correspondence with actual reality.

 

Auto-Self Challenge #1 creates an unfair fight between the auto-self-based Comfort Imperative and thinking-self intentions to succeed. This normally results in an ill-fated, and normally not even noticed, trade-off between relieving short-term discomfort and achieving long-term success. We understand this problem well now, and we have some techniques to counteract it, which you will see an outline of below and can learn more about in the 2Selfs Revolution book.

Auto-Self Challenge #2 on worldviews has several components, so it can lead to different forms of dysfunction. If we use level 1 (or phase 1) worldviews, we end up pretending we are solving a problem while we succumb to simplistic solutions. If we apply worldviews outside of their domains of effectiveness, we delude ourselves into thinking we are actually solving a problem when we are not because we are employing a Φ1 worldview. If we fail to compartmentalize explicitly, we run the risk of using a Φ1 worldview when we have a Φ2 or even a Φ3 worldview available as the foundation to solve problems of keen interest to us, and we block our path to maximizing successes, well-being, coping, and satisfaction in life. Putting much of this together, we end up indirectly managing the supraevolution process for problem solving and values maintenance, which leaves us vulnerable to regressions. Now that we understand the fundamental nature of discontinuous (or revolutionary or disruptive) human progress based on explicitly constructing and managing worldviews, so we can finally take direct control of our future.

 

Auto-Self Challenge #3 creates an unfair fight between powerful illusions of reality constructed within auto-contexts “in here” and thinking-self-based correspondence verification of these beliefs with external facts in the world “out there.” We have overwhelmingly failed to deal effectively with this very difficult problem because our realities about the world “out there” reside in mental states “in here.” With 2Selfs Theory, we can now easily see an unfair fight exists between constructed auto-context-based certainties and thinking-self-based calculations of correspondence. Not surprisingly, because we have previously not explicitly recognized this problem and dealt with it effectively, certainty illusions (which often start out corresponding with success needs and later do not align with them when the environment changes radically) and certainty delusions (which are unfortunately very easy to construct) normally trump correspondence verification. Business examples of the first type that start out aligned and end up misaligned with success needs as the business environment changes are not difficult to find – Kodak, Blockbuster, and travel agencies are glaring examples. You have seen many examples in this article of the construction of certainty illusions and delusions in the form of “best practices” in business; “drain the swamp” (by the swamp master who said he would get rid of lobbyists and instead hired them to oversee the agencies they were previously lobbying) in politics, and creationism in religion. Many people believe all of these (and many more), but because they are all certainty illusions (or delusions!) based on simplistic solutions, they result in widespread pretending instead of serious problem solving.

 

Unfair Advantages

 

Which Country/Culture Will Acquire the "Spaceland" Unfair Advantage? The West got out in front of other cultures in initiating its Science/Enlightenment (Lineland to Flatland) Revolution, which was the main basis of the rise to greatness of the West for two centuries because we indirectly constructed and propagated a secular (including science) problem-solving worldview. Over the last four decades, as the foundation of our Thinking-Self Age started crumbling, other countries and cultures have also emancipated their thinking-self so we have lost our unfair advantage. The 2Selfs (Flatland to Spaceland) Revolution will create the next unfair advantage for those social segments, countries, and cultures that emancipate the auto-self by learning to understand and manage it directly. The next wave of global leadership will go to those societies that conquer the three major auto-self challenges identified above that are the main auto-self culprits causing their demise and hold the best opportunity to resurrect their greatness once they learn to manage them. There is no guarantee the West will get out in front this time. In fact, given our current systemic mega-descent without previously understanding the root cause, other countries, particularly China, have specific advantages over the West because they don’t have to deal with the political meltdowns, short-term focus, and the rise of creationism, which is a still-lingering artifact of the infancy of humanity, that we in the West are now experiencing. The maturation of the human species has been slow and painful and often based on indirectly managing crucial success factors including creating and propagating empowering worldviews. The next supraevolutionary ascent for the West cannot happen indirectly because it must center on directly understanding and managing fundamental progress (the supraevolution process). We will finally have a worldview about worldviews!

 

The Next Unfair Advantages at Many Levels: At long last, we have reached the “adult” level of problem solving where we understand the underlying (i.e., auto-self) basis of revolutionary human progress in the form of supraevolutionary ascents. As a result, for the first time in history, we now have the ability to take direct, explicit control of the underlying mental functions that determine our future successes, well-being, and shared positive values. During the Thinking-Self Age, the West enjoyed an unfair advantage over the rest of the world because we (indirectly) constructed and propagated an empowering (secular/science) worldview that emancipated the thinking-self. In the near future, the unfair advantage for individuals, businesses, universities, countries, and even widespread cultures will belong to those entities that (directly) construct and propagate 2Selfs Worldview by using 2Selfs Theory to emancipate the auto-self.

 

Constructing (Auto-Context-Based) Responsibilities to Make Freedoms an Overall Asset Again: We are about to experience an extremely rare supraevolutionary ascent for the West  that will eventually spread to all advanced societies and thus elevate them to a mature-adult level of solving problems, which will create widespread prosperity and well-being and will explicitly define and propagate shared positive values. If we look for another ancillary advantage the West has had over other countries, widespread individual freedoms spurred tremendous progress in our physical-world investigations and in our open-market business successes. We still enjoy those freedoms benefits, however with nonstop cable news, blogs, and social media, our freedoms are increasingly working against us due to technology-enhanced manipulations. We do not want to surrender our freedoms that provide many advantages and are a fundamental part of who we are (in 2Selfs Theory terms, “freedoms” are buried in the auto-contexts of citizens of the West). The alternative, and this is required for future successes, that you saw mentioned earlier in this article is to construct widespread responsibilities within our universal education systems so that we can (mentally) inoculate more citizens against crass manipulations in many areas including in business, politics, and religions (i.e., creationism).

 

Simplistic Solutions

 

Simplistic Solutions in Business: You have already seen many examples in this article of how inadequately we have understood human nature within the Thinking-Self Age worldview foundation. How else might you explain why so many business leaders, who are among our best, brightest, and most results-focused professionals, could have rushed headlong into embracing a series of simplistic “sustainable success” books and tried to apply them to solve growing business problems and increasing failures. How do you explain that phenomenon if you don’t acknowledge that the Comfort Imperative drives even very smart and results-oriented people to embrace simplistic solutions when their discomfort exceeds their tolerance level and they do not yet see a viable solution? How else do you explain that the “best practices” books seemed not just reasonable but a panacea in spite of repeated failures to come remotely close to accomplishing the hyperbolic promises if the waves of lavish praise and testimonials crashing over the business community did not construct a worldview that animated that pretending?

Simplistic Solutions in Politics (Voting): If you don’t believe that the Comfort Imperative drives people to accept simplistic solutions when their discomfort becomes too great for them, how do you explain the Brexit and Duper Don phenomena? If you don’t think certainty illusions exist, how else can you account for the fact that so many people swallow literally thousands of Trumpian lies? If you don’t think worldviews exist and have enormous power over us, how else would you account for the effectiveness of Duper Don’s negative branding that among other problems has paralyzed many previously honorable Republican politicians in the US?

 

Simplistic Solutions in Religion: How can we at the end of the second decade of the 21st century still have so many citizens of the West believe that life, the earth, and indeed the entire universe all magically appeared in one week? That was supposed to have happened about 6000 years ago against two centuries of overwhelming, widespread evidence that demonstrates that is now just a dysfunctional childish fantasy if we don’t account for it by understanding certainty illusions and delusions? If there is not a second, constructed form of “truth” that is a byproduct of the certainty illusion property, which in turn is one of the properties of auto-contexts, which is one of four types of auto-self activities (wow, no wonder it’s so hard to penetrate), how can you account for that belief that has such overwhelming evidence against it?

 

Learning to Recognize Auto-Self Dysfunctions

 

Widespread Dysfunctions or Missed Opportunities Buried in Auto-Self Activities: In this article, I focus on major, visible dysfunctions in three major social segments: business, politics, and religions. However, if you look carefully at your life and at your profession if it deals with human activities (as most professions at least occasionally do, including science disciplines when they go through Kuhnian revolutionary transformations), you will find widespread dysfunctions or missed opportunities buried in auto-self activities.

 

Recognizing Auto-Self Transformations by Their Effects: We mostly live in a thinking-self-centered problem-solving world. Educated people are well accustomed to acquiring explicit knowledge and processes and directly focusing them on solving problems in their profession and in their lives. That is partially why many auto-self activities create such difficulties. They are not explicit, we cannot see them directly, and we struggle to explain them specifically in a way that others can understand easily. Unlike explicit knowledge that we directly acquire and easily recognize when we have it, we can only notice most auto-self activities and transformations indirectly by their effects rather than directly. On the level that may be most easily understood, we can look at auto-skills, which require exhaustive repetitions with feedback including in music and sports. Learning to ride a bicycle is a good example of an auto-skill where parents don’t try to provide information on how to do it but instead run beside the child holding onto the seat until the riding auto-skill develops. Driving is a different type of example of an auto-skill where driving instructors do explain to the students how to drive. New drivers start by relying on their thinking-self knowledge. That is a main reason why new drivers get into so many accidents because the thinking-self can only process one story at a time and if new drivers try to talk to somebody else, they lose control. Then, over time, routine driving migrates from a thinking-self activity to an auto-skill. We cannot view our auto-self’s characteristics by somehow looking inside our minds or our memory and observing them. We can only know we have specific auto-self characteristics by their effects.

 

We Can Now Transform Auto-Contexts Directly, but We Cannot Notice the Internal Process Directly: Here is an early penetrating insight into auto-expertise from the 1938 book The Functions of the Executive by Chester I. Barnard, “There are many accountants and businessmen who can ordinarily take a comparative balance sheet of considerable complexity and within minutes or even seconds get a significant set of facts from it. These facts do not leap from the paper and strike the eye. They lie between the figures in the part filled in by the mind out of years of experience and technical knowledge. That is what makes out of a set of figure something to which then reason can usefully be applied” (p. 306). So it is with (auto-context-based) problem-solving worldviews and certainty illusions. While we can construct them explicitly, the process itself is opaque. That is, the person experiencing auto-context constructions does not have visibility to the internal process. It just happens automatically through repetitions, normally accompanied with some feelings.

From Understanding to Transforming the Auto-Self

  

Most of what you have seen up to this point is information and mental mechanisms to get you to understand the absolutely crucial role our automatic activities play in our successes, well-being, and shared positive values. I have used some repetition because besides seeing aspects of 2Selfs Theory, you need to have 2Selfs Worldview embedded in an auto-context to truly understand and use 2Selfs Theory. It is one thing to recognize that we have an auto-self and to understand some of its properties. However, it is quite a different matter to recognize auto-self characteristics, either your own unique ones or ones you share with an affiliated group, so that you have a chance to transform them if they don’t align with your goals. The next section outlines processes to reveal the contents of auto-self characteristics.

 

Revelations

 ​

Revealing Auto-Context Contents:

 

Opacity: We all suffer an enormous handicap when we want to understand the profile of the many aspects of our auto-self characteristics. As you have seen several times, auto-self activities are both elusive and illusive. That is, unlike for our transparent thinking-self-based explicit knowledge and intentions, most of our auto-self characteristics are opaque to us.

  • Auto-Behaviors: The surprising thing here is that we do not recognize most of our auto-behaviors including those activities we habitually fail to enact in a timely manner and those actions we take that bother other people. It is surprising because other people readily notice our counterproductive or dysfunctional auto-behaviors and often experience them painfully.

  • Auto-Contexts: This is the emperor of auto-self elusiveness and illusiveness. The two main auto-context classes of worldviews and certainty illusions elude our normal detection – we just cannot look internally and gain direct access to most of them. They are also extremely illusive because we often apply worldviews outside of their domain of effectiveness and by definition certainty illusions can deceive us and certainty delusions do deceive us including in the form of something we deeply believe and experience as “true” that is often disconnected from any realities in the world outside of our mind.

  • Auto-Skills: These are the auto-self characteristics that we see best. However, our thinking self plays a very small role and we have no way to look internally to see how skillful we are at some type of activity. We recognize our auto-skills by the results not by direct internal observations.

  • Auto-Expertise: We can notice this type of extremely elusive capabilities by their effects, but those possessing them normally do not realize that they have them, don’t even know where their insights come from, and no amount of internal inspection will give visibility to these characteristics.

Anomalies:

 ​

Expanding Kuhn’s “Anomalies”: We can all gain much better control over our successes, well-being, and positive-values definitions and maintenance if we periodically take stock of our certainties. Thomas Kuhn, in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, identified anomalies (or rather the accumulation of anomalies; i.e., outcomes that do not fit predictions of a science theory) as the sign that a science worldview (his paradigm) is reaching the end of its effectiveness. When too many anomalies emerge, that signals the need for a determined search for a new worldview foundation. With 2Selfs Theory, we can now see that Kuhnian anomalies apply not just to science theories but also to the fit of any “in here” auto-context (whether underpinning a theory, an assertion, an assumption, or a belief) with the facts of the world “out there.” It is a good idea (but a difficult challenge) to step back periodically from our certainties and make a judgment regarding the level of anomalies we can (or should) tolerate before we recognize we have a dysfunctional worldview (or certainty illusion or delusion) constructed within our auto-self. You can understand this process of recognizing the accumulation of anomalies by noticing them in the three social segments we have examined in this article. The auto-self has decisive impacts on many aspects of our human activities including our most prominent social segments. I could have chosen from a number of our social systems, but I chose the three specific social segments because the majority of Westerners participate in or are directly affected by them. These three social segments have profound impacts on our successes and well-being, are suffering greatly from our current inability to understand and manage automatic human activities (i.e., the mental world and particularly auto-contexts), and they provide enormous opportunities for a better future for us once we conquer the auto-self. Please pause here! Before examining the examples of anomalies listed below, you can enhance your ability to understand human nature from a Spaceland perspective if you make a concerted effort in trying to identify some anomalies you already can recognize (especially after reading this far) in current business, political, and religion theories, assertions, assumptions, or beliefs.

Business Anomalies: 

 

“Sustainable Success” Anomalies: Phil Rosenzweig (The Halo Effect: . . . and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers) provided us a great service by pointing out fundamental methodological flaws in the “best practices” genre of books that purported to “discover” some specific “practices” that would enable companies to achieve “lasting success.” However, Rosenzweig was operating within the enabling and constraining boundaries of the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age worldview foundation. We can now see his keen insights differently, and in important respects more powerfully, by viewing many of his observations as anomalies from a “Spaceland” perspective. Rosenzweig states, “Start with In Search of Excellence, draw a line to Built to Last, link it to What Really Works, and then extend it all the way to Good to Great. What pattern do we see when we connect these dots? Each successive study made a bolder set of claims – to have gathered more data, to have consulted more experts, to have been more exhaustive in its research and more thorough in its analysis than the previous studies. Each claimed to boldly go where no research had gone before, to do what had never been done, and to have a greater claim to the truth. By the time we get to the last two, there are grandiose claims about virtual guarantees of success and immutable laws of physics. The one that started it all, Peters and Waterman’s In Search of Excellence, seems almost modest by contrast, a quaint throwback to a less pretentious age. But for all their claims of rigor and science, not one of the studies crack the nut at the center of the puzzle. Not one of them recognize the central problem that robs them of validity – namely, that relying on articles from the popular press, on business school case studies, and on retrospective interviews, their data were compromised by the Halo Effect” (p.127). In the 2Selfs Theory terms, growing discomfort at recognizing so-called “soft” success factors and struggling to understand and manage them (including making timely culture changes to accommodate technology and competition disruptions) led massive numbers of otherwise sophisticated business people to fall for the simplistic-solutions promulgated by these “sustainable success” books. Also, the exuberant press reports and grandiose claims by authors eventually constructed the “sustainable success” worldview within a huge number of business people. This worldview continued over decades to support the popularity and widespread embrace of multiple incarnations of “best practices” books because people neglected to recognize an overwhelming number of anomalies in the form of repeated failures to achieve the “guaranteed” successes advertised. We can usefully view much of Rosenzweig’s Halo book as providing us a large number of anomalies to the basic “theory” (or maybe “fantasy” in today’s hyper-changing business environment) of finding a static formula for “sustainable success.”

Empirical Theory Anomalies:  The empirical theories are much more effective than the “sustainable success” books, which provide not so much theories as lists. I call this set of theories “empirical” because they are based on careful observations about the growing negative effects of auto-self activities. Since they are empirical and not based on a solid, root-cause (i.e., auto-self) foundation, they operate within a Φ2, mentally enabled worldview foundation. Because they (indirectly) address "soft" (i.e., auto-self) success factors, these empirical theories have created great value in managing many previously opaque auto-self issues. Prominent among the auto-self success factors these empirical theories successfully address are culture change (or Deep Change according to Robert E. Quinn), the people process (Execution), tacit knowledge (The Knowledge-Creating Company), and many insights into the currently amorphous concept of leadership. We can recognize anomalies here by the fact that although progress has occurred, we still have many companies failing because they cannot make timely culture changes, and the need for such changes keeps accelerating. Tacit knowledge conflates auto-contexts, auto-expertise, and even auto-behaviors, which makes explaining and managing generic “Flatland” tacit knowledge quite difficult. The authors of the book Execution identify the people process as crucial, but they do not define it well nor explain how to manage it adequately. We still don’t have a clear definition of the distinction between management and leadership or direct, auto-self-based processes to develop leadership. Anomalies are bound to continue arising whenever we use a Φ2 (empirical, mentally enabling) worldview and processes and the problems we must manage keep getting more difficult.

Structural Anomalies in Business: Businesses are trapped within a whirlwind of disruptive changes from new types of technology, increasingly rapid arrival of new technologies, domestic startups, and growing global competition. As a result, their mission, their value propositions, and their overall strategies will experience increasingly short lifespans. These strategic elements do not just reside on paper or in thinking-self knowledge; they become embedded in the business culture – that is, in the shared auto-contexts of the power brokers of a company. As a result, anomalies in the details of a company’s culture eventually arise because the environment changes to the point where the (auto-context-based) assumptions of the culture no longer align with the realities of the business environment. Unfortunately, this misalignment happens incrementally year by year and increasingly month by month. Fundamental assumptions start becoming slightly misaligned, then they become seriously misaligned, and then inevitably the misalignment of the deep assumptions buried in the company culture and the realities of the business environment become so great that companies descend onto a dysfunctional path of increasing failure. Because the misalignment usually advances incrementally and periodically, it makes the already enormously difficult process of checking for anomalies between our auto-contexts “in here” and the environment “out there” even more difficult. As a result, companies should periodically set aside time to work through a formal assessment of how their business beliefs align with their environment (and indeed go through the difficult process of making explicit the many elements of their business beliefs – culture). You will see below a recommendation for companies to hold annual retreats to reconstruct elements of their culture, and these would be the place to go through the anomalies-evaluation process.

Politics Anomalies:

  

Did Duper Don Keep His Promises? One of the very few things that Duper Don is actually good at is constructing auto-contexts. He understands that constant repetition with feelings constructs “truths” in a large number of people. The only way for sober citizens to recognize whether these certainty illusions that he constructs “in here” correspond with facts in the world or are just standalone certainty delusions is to search for correspondence with facts “out there.” Thus, we determine whether Duper Don’s “promises made, promises kept” mantra corresponds with actual reality by checking alignment with facts. “For the first two years of Trump’s presidency, his party enjoyed unified control of Washington. Despite that – and despite Trump’s reelection campaign refrain of “promises made, promises kept” – almost none of his proposed 100-day legislative agenda has seen the light of day, even 1,000 days into his presidency.”* If you look at that article, it indicates that he partially kept one out of his 10 promises. To have a successful future, to escape our Flatland naïveté about such manipulations and ascend to a Spaceland environment where we can test our certainty illusions against facts, we should all start sobering up about anomalies in theories and assertions.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/25/three-years-later-evaluating-laws-trump-said-hed-pass-his-first-days/

Assessing an Assertion: “Does Grisham [Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary and communications director] think Trump ever lies? After all, as of Aug. 5 [2019], The Washington Post Fact Checker had documented 12,019 false or misleading claims made by Trump during his presidency. ‘No,’ she responds without hesitation. ‘I don’t think they’re lies. . . . I think the president communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with.’”* Maybe she can excuse away some of his massive number of lies as “just kidding,” but even if you get rid of 90% of them (and what a joker and disingenuous communicator that would make him!), he still had over a thousand lies. Duper Don tweets out anomalous assertions almost daily, so it seems that his suite of worldviews does not include one that uses to the correspondence form of truth. Within his manipulative worldview that guides his behavior; aligning his assertions with facts in the world does not even occur to him. It appears he learned well from his early-life mentor, the infamous Roy Cohn, that “truth” is whatever you can construct in other people. As a result, Duper Don lives (and has caused many of his blindly obedient acolytes to live) in a fantasy world of his own constructed “truths.” His chronic lies may not be obvious to many of his followers who live within the constrained “Flatland” worldviews for such topics, but they will become obvious to citizens of 2Selfs Age where we will be able to view such disinformation and Big Lies from a “Spaceland” perspective.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/stephanie-grisham-is-trumps-communications-czar-only-most-people-wouldnt-know-it/2019/08/27/b79656ba-c44b-11e9-b5e4-54aa56d5b7ce_story.html

 

Religion Anomalies:

  

I repeat some points you saw previously, in a new anomalies context, and add a few new observations.

 

Inerrant Bible Anomalies: The book, Handbook of Christian Apologetics, by Kreeft and Tacelli could be renamed Handbook of Biblical-Inerrancy Anomalies because this book indirectly identifies for us a huge set of anomalies for the biblical-inerrancy assertion. Even better, we have an “encyclopedia” of a massive array of inerrant-Bible anomalies in the book, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer. That compendium of biblical-inerrancy anomalies starts the Foreword with, “Dr. Gleason Archer has written this encyclopedia to show that there is nothing in the Bible inconsistent with the claim that it is the inerrant Word of God.” Really? This is a great example of the depth of pretending the West engaged in during our Flatland era. The book goes on to analyze over 400 pages worth of anomalies. It contains an index with 11 double-column pages of “difficulties” (or in terms of what we are assessing here, “anomalies”). Additionally, the book contains over 12 pages of triple-column entries of Bible passages in which the author finds “difficulties.” These books inadvertently make it easy for anyone to locate inerrant-Bible anomalies that careful observers have identified and tried to explain away. Some of the explanations are quite reasonable. However, as the massive number of anomalies suggests, the “biblical inerrancy” assertion succumbs to overwhelming evidence against it. When science theories start encountering anomalies, some workarounds seem plausible and others start to look quite tortured. If a science theory encountered even 1% of the anomalies in the “encyclopedia” above, the science discipline would reject it. Actually, in spite of this recurrent “inerrancy” proclamation, nobody actually uses the entire Bible, at least not literally – they cannot because of too many contradictions, universally rejected stories about the geocentric universe, and negative values (including explicit support of slavery) we have moved past. No matter how inspired some of the writers of the stories of the Bible may have been, at least some of them did not see beyond the views of the universe current at the times they wrote nor transcend many of the specific, highly negative (by our standards) values of their times. Instead of using the whole Bible literally, each individual, group, or religious leader selects specific passages and interprets those passages to serve their purposes, which results in a massive number of metabibles; that is, sectarian stories about what they decide the Bible actually says. Believers create their metabibles by selectively omitting unhelpful passages (including the many specifying a geocentric universe, unsavory values statements that don’t play very well in our current times, and the huge number of verses that contradict other passages). Then they interpret (and sometimes radically plus often quite differently from other metabibles) some of the remaining passages to suit their needs. Metabibles are not a bad thing. They are required to make the Bible relevant to believers in today’s world. However, the huge numbers of different metabibles are also obvious signs of anomalies in the inerrant-Bible assertion.

 

Creationism Anomalies: When one starts with an ancient (pre-science) story that was trying to make sense of how the universe, earth, life, and humans originated, the number of anomalies will inevitably keep growing. Biblical creationism stories are among many ancient myths about origins.* The Bible opens with two incompatible “origins” versions (Genesis 1:1-2:3 completes “creation” in six days and God (Yahweh) rests on the seventh day; then inexplicably [actually, biblical scholars do explain where and when these two distinct stories likely originated], “Lord God” (Elohim) immediately starts creation all over, this time with a different order and introducing Adam and Eve – Genesis 2:4-2:23). Tortured explanations of why these two ancient origins myths are not incompatible with each other and both with science just add to our list of creationism anomalies. Science keeps discovering ever more details about the physical world, so the number of anomalies inevitably keeps growing. Also, when the public goes to natural-history museums, sees explanations of the formation of features in many national parks, watches TV documentaries on the origins of the universe, the earth, continents, and life (including humans), they should notice the enormous number of anomalies for the biblical creation stories. We also know through many science disciplines including biology (evolution), geology (sedimentary stratification and plate tectonics), physics (radiometric chronologies), and astronomy (independent time measures, including Cepheid variables and redshift), that the biblical creation time frame (based on the many “begats” and other evidence that careful observers have determined places the “origin of everything” about 6000 years ago) is vastly wrong. Creationism probably holds the world’s record for the number of anomalies. Any creationists who have a general interest in learning how to test the correspondence of any of their “in here” certainties with the world “out there” (i.e., outside of their internal auto-context mental states) will never find a better area to practice checking for anomalies than on this topic.

* see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths for a long list

 

Anomalies in Defining/Maintaining Shared Values: The clergy in the US South well attested to the pro-slavery passages of the Bible when they repeatedly cited and vigorously defended the Bible-based, Christian, moral imperative of slavery, as you saw previously. Additionally, we have been systematically overcoming some of the more brutal Old Testament values including capital punishment for a large variety of activities such as children being disrespectful to their parents (Ex 21:17; Lev 20:9) and working on the Sabbath (Ex 31:14; 35:2; Num 15:32-36). Also, I assume (hope!) most metabibles exclude a straightforward reading of pro-genocide passages (e.g., Joshua 6:21, 10:40; Deut 2:33-34; 1 Samuel 15:2-3). Widespread anomalies also exist regarding the assertion that our shared values are Christian (or religion) based because powerful religious leaders and groups argue forcefully on both sides of all controversial values issues. Also, you saw earlier from the Christianity Today article regarding the moral bankruptcy of Duper Don and the responses from other prominent evangelical leaders that even the large self-identified evangelical Christian community uses widely differing metabibles with respect to values, which displays unmistakable values-anomalies for us. In January 2020, leaders of the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, announced a plan that would split the church, citing “fundamental differences” over same-sex marriage and gay clergy. Apparently, after years of debate and no doubt much prayerful attention, this very large Christian denomination could not reach an agreement on what to put in their metabible regarding gay rights, so they resolved that dilemma by splitting into two new denominations that each have their own metabible regarding gay rights. This is yet another example of a glaring anomaly in the assertion that Christianity provides consistent moral values and another dramatic confirmation of the moral relativism of Christianity as a whole. How much overwhelming evidence does it take to get people to stop pretending that somehow Christianity as a whole currently provides overall moral guidance? Maybe recognizing such obvious anomalies is too much to expect from within our crumbling “Flatland” environment because this is just a specific example of the general deficiency (dysfunction!) where we resort to widespread pretending when we have important problems to solve. On an even broader scale, this is another demonstration that we need discontinuously greater capabilities to manage our automatic activities, which we will acquire when we launch ourselves into our new “Spaceland” worldview foundation.

Formulating Shared Positive Values: We cannot have a successful, honorable future if we keep willfully ignoring anomalies in many aspects of our lives, including the above anomalies in religious activities. We must stop pretending so much, especially on topics related to success, well-being, and shared positive values! Western societies as a whole should have no valid concern with the other-worldly aspects of the many religious groups. However, we all (other religious sects and secular society) have keen interest in some here-and-now aspects of religions that impact our successes, well-being, and shared positive values. This includes the two major topics we have discussed in this article of constructing antiscience creationism and negative values (and we have much work to do on agreeing what that means) into the auto-contexts of citizens. What is missing and what religious organizations should strive for as they unavoidably leave (either constructively self-ascending or being drug along as happened during the Lineland to Flatland transformation) our Flatland environment and move into our Spaceland foundation is to establish criteria for creating their metabibles. Right now, we have so many metabible versions because we live in a Flatland “roll your own” values environment. A constructive project to embrace as we transform ourselves into 2Selfs Age will be to focus on explicitly identifying positive aspirational values goals (a thinking-self activity). As we reach widespread convergence on specific aspirational values, we can then move to the next phase of constructing them into the auto-contexts of citizens (an auto-self activity). It would be extremely helpful to have religious organizations (and particularly Christianity, which, in its many varying forms, continues to be the dominant religion of the West) to participate actively and constructively in this endeavor. We even should benefit from just having an open, candid discussion regarding the difference between positive and negative aspirational values. As part of that discussion, my 2Selfs Revolution book makes a specific proposal for a criterion to create positive-values metabibles.

 

With a Little Help from Our Friends:

 

Opening Up to Candid Feedback – Multi-Rater Surveys: Most people, in spite of considerable positive feedback, become incredulous and often even angry when they receive multi-rater (a.k.a., 360°) feedback that contradicts their own self-image. This is yet another case of the certainty illusion because a major part of our self-image resides in an auto-context. We normally do not notice most of our auto-self characteristics because we execute them automatically without any thinking-self intentions. However, those around us notice and experience many of our auto-self activities. Instead of getting all worked up over the negative aspects of multi-rater feedback, people will do well to leverage the feedback that aligns with their (often previously at least partially implicit) self-image and accept feedback that does not align with their self-image as anomalies to the worldview they maintain about their auto-self characteristics. Normally when we find anomalies in our “in here” worldviews, we need to go through an auto-context reconstruction process to align it with realities “out there.” However, for our self-image, we can have some control over the “out there” realities (i.e., our auto-behaviors that others see and experience), so we often want to reconstruct our auto-behavior characteristics that don’t align with our self-image (if it is a positive, aspirational one). The opposite situation also occurs. Sometimes multi-rater feedback indicates that those who know a person find her or him to have auto-self characteristics that show much better attributes than that person’s self-image. The anomalies in this case indicate that the person’s self-image is too anemic, so an auto-context reconstruction to a more positive self-image should occur; this will reset the self-image and lay the foundation for still greater achievement by the person.

Getting Past the Elusiveness and Illusiveness of Auto-Contexts: Auto-context reconstructions share with auto-behavior reconstructions barriers to success based on the Comfort Imperative, which creates a level of discomfort that normally causes people to stop the process before they produce enduring results. However, auto-context reconstructions have a massive additional problem that normally blocks people from even attempting the uncomfortable reconstruction activity. By now, you should understand this barrier well. We don’t have easy access to the contents of our auto-contexts. Additionally, the foggy process we have causes us to experience our auto-contexts as “certain,” “true,” “obvious,” or “the way things are.” As such, we not only don’t want to challenge them; we deeply want not to investigate and challenge them. The following experience of a client of mine should help you understand this difficulty.

How Auto-Contexts Appear to Us: Shared auto-contexts form the basis of cultures that both enable and disable critical business factors such as the mission of a business, and they control our professional norms. While I was conducting a four-session workshop for top management of a company on making commitments and holding people accountable for their commitments, I was leading the audience through how auto-contexts operate. One of the participants, Chris, who was the director of one of the design functions, got an “ah ha” moment and he courageously shared it with us. He said that an intern came to him some time ago to ask him why they used a specific process. Chris said he explained to the intern, “That is how we do it here.” When the intern asked him again later, Chris reported being annoyed and telling him, “That’s just the way we do it, stop worrying about it, and get on with your assignment.” The intern had the courage to come back a third time; this time he told Chris that he realized he was just an intern but that he was there to learn and he just could not figure out why they used the process the way they did. He said that he would appreciate it if Chris would take the time to explain it to him. Chris reported that finally out of frustration he decided to sit down with the intern and explain it to him so that the intern will get off his back. This is where Chris bravely revealed to the assembled group of his peers and his boss his astonishment to realize he could not explain it at all. He said it was obvious to him that the current process was the correct one to use, but when he examined it closely, he couldn’t explain why. Chris finally figured out that he had probably learned the process when he started with the company many years earlier and just accepted it without question. When Chris finally made his hidden assumptions explicit, he was able to analyze them with the intern and realize that although the process did work, or else they would have noticed a problem with results, it wasn’t optimum and a better process was available. Chris said that learning about auto-contexts enabled him to understand what happened to him because when it occurred he was dumbstruck about it. I was able to use Chris’s gutsy disclosure to help others at the workshop understand that auto-contexts, and particularly shared auto-contexts in the form of professional worldviews or organizational cultures, are hidden assumptions and beliefs that appear to us as the way things “really are” or as “the way we do it.” Chris’s story also helped the participants understand that once we can make our hidden assumptions explicit, we have the opportunity to test them and reconstruct them if needed. A general principle we can draw from this encounter is that we should all actively challenge each other’s hidden assumptions (even the deepest “certainties”), and we need to do our best to pay attention and bravely examine our own assumptions when others challenge them or ask for explanations. 

Growing Up! The biggest part of growing up from Flatland to Spaceland problem solvers and explicit positive-values constructors and maintainers is learning to manage our elusive and illusive auto-contexts. To do that, we must make them visible to us and find ways to determine whether they correspond with realities in the world outside of our minds. You have just seen some paths toward revealing the contents of our auto-contexts in the form of searching for anomalies for theories and assumptions that seem obviously “true,” being open to multi-rater feedback, and challenging each other’s basic assumptions. We cannot have a successful future unless we achieve many supraevolutionary ascents, including at the top level for the West. Most people are complacent in the Flatland environment, but we are no longer struggling through a slow demise but rather are in the process of crashing into the Manipulation Age. The only way we can resurrect the greatness of the West is to learn to explicitly recognize, comprehensively understand, and systematically manage automatic human activities. Symbolically, we need to ascend to Spaceland where we can clearly see and effectively manage many of the shadowy foibles and deceptive dysfunctions of our Flatland existence.

Transformations

 

The previous segment gave an overview of how we gain access to some of our auto-self characteristics so we can determine whether they align with our needs. Now, we segue to a brief overview of how we go about transforming undesired or downright dysfunctional auto-self characteristics.

The Transformation Process:

 

We Must Finally Ascend to an Adult Level of Problem Solving (and Positive-Values Definition and Maintenance): It is time to put on our big-boy and big-girl pants and learn to become adult problem solvers – stop pretending; stop settling for shadowy metaphors and partial views of auto-self activities; stop trying to use simplistic solutions to solve increasingly complex problems in our rapidly changing social world. The key here is to focus our amazing thinking-self powers to verify or negate correspondence of our beliefs, deepest assumptions, and auto-contexts-based certainty illusions (and delusions!) with facts in the world outside of our mind as best we can determine them through straightforward analysis.

 

2Selfs Theory vs. 2Selfs Worldview:2Selfs Theory has many elements that are understandable and improvement processes we can apply from within the Thinking-Self Age (Flatland) worldview foundation, many of which you have seen in this article. 2Selfs Worldview, which provides the auto-context foundation to clearly visualize, robustly understand, and effectively manage the auto-self, is a 2Selfs (Spaceland) Age concept that is extremely difficult to understand from within the “Flatland” worldview foundation. Auto-context management will even create challenges when we all reach “Spaceland” because we will always struggle to see the contents of our auto-contexts (including our worldviews and certainty illusions); we will mainly recognize them by the effects they produce – but only if we learn how to look, as you just saw above. That elusive and illusive opacity is debilitating from within our “Flatland” foundation; it will be challenging but achievable within our “Spaceland” foundation, not only for auto-contexts but also for other types of auto-self activities (especially auto-expertise).

 

Overcoming Auto-Self Barriers to Success: Most of this article to this point has focused on overcoming the elusive and illusive nature of the auto-self so we can understand the decisive role it is playing in the demise of the greatness of the West and the opportunity it provides to resurrect the West’s greatness. We particularly focused on understanding auto-behaviors (the ramifications of the Comfort Imperative) and auto-contexts (the ramifications of worldviews and certainty illusions). That is the necessary opening bid to get into the game of managing our auto-self as well as we have long managed our thinking-self. As if understanding the auto-self is not difficult enough, we must also find ways to transform crucial aspects of auto-self activities when they do not align with our success, well-being, and positive-values needs. Just as understanding auto-self activities requires a different “Spaceland” worldview than the “Flatland” perspective for understanding thinking-self activities, so also does improving auto-self activities require different types of processes than those used for improving thinking-self activities. Improving our thinking-self capabilities requires acquiring knowledge, and we normally do that explicitly so we recognize when we do it. Also, while amassing sufficient knowledge to become effective problem solvers can be tedious, it does not usually create discomfort that blocks our progress. Improving our auto-self management capabilities requires very different types of processes, and these often do create considerable discomfort in addition to being elusive and illusive. I now provide you a very brief overview of the challenges we will face as we learn to manage our auto-self to make discontinuous improvements in our successes, well-being, and positive-values selection and maintenance.

Transforming Auto-Behaviors:

 

Unfair Fights: Discomfort blocks auto-behavior (and auto-context) reconstructions. These auto-self reconstructions fail due to an unfair fight because auto-self-driven discomfort eventually overwhelms thinking-self intentions to transform. Since we will lose most unfair fights, and since we have a huge and growing need to transform auto-self characteristics, we must create a different way to attack this problem. That different way is to create feelings that counteract the auto-self-driven feelings that block our needed auto-self transformations.

The Counteracting Principle: Rather than repeatedly failing to make our desired auto-self reconstructions due to these unfair fights, we need to learn to fight fire with fire. That is, we need to use our thinking-self intentions to construct feelings that counteract the negative feelings associated with auto-behavior and auto-context reconstructions. This unfair fight is a major reason why most self-help attempts to transform our auto-self characteristics fail. It doesn’t matter how helpful the self-help processes may look, auto-self-based discomforts generally grind down our best intentions and even our strongest willpower when we try to change ourselves at the auto-self level (especially when attempting to reconstruct auto-behaviors and auto-contexts, which our technology-driven social changes will increasingly require). We can try to create counteracting processes on our own, and that will enable us to reconstruct a larger percentage of auto-self characteristics than just pitting thinking-self intentions against auto-self discomforts. However, to reconstruct auto-behaviors (and auto-contexts) that stand in our way of repeated successes, we normally will need external help from time to time from transformation coaches. In 2Selfs Age, smaller organizations will probably need to rely on external providers. Larger organizations should have their own internal coaching capabilities but may need to rely on external service providers to bootstrap their internal capabilities. Because the West, including its businesses, has been viewing coaching through the Flatland lens, it has been difficult to understand clearly the distinction between types of coaching that focus on the thinking-self and those that focus on the auto-self. You can understand that distinction and some of the nuances of coaching for auto-self transformations from a Spaceland perspective here.

 

Reliable 2Selfs Path to Incorporating Innovations

 

I titled the last section “Reconstructing Auto-Behaviors,” so you might expect me to title this section “Reconstructing Auto-Contexts.” However, as you now know, auto-contexts are massively complex, elusive, and illusive, so I will just give an example in one domain here. The 2Selfs Revolution book discusses possibilities for how multi-discipline activities in universities can help drive the auto-context reconstruction process. I expect that as 2Selfs Theory takes hold and 2Selfs Worldview spreads throughout Western societies, that many investigators will create additional auto-context reconstruction processes for their own domains.

 

The Status Quo Is Not What It Used To Be: 2Selfs Theory provides systematic techniques to avoid a major cause of company failures – the innovation deathtrap – by transforming obsolete auto-contexts in the form of a company culture. The status quo (a Flatland concept) will never again be what it used to be because now a reliable, systematic (Spaceland) process exists to disrupt a fossilized company culture. Successful companies no longer need to succumb to the innovation deathtrap as Kodak and so many other once-great companies have done because they did not have a reliable Φ3 process to infuse revolutionary innovations repeatedly into the organization’s culture. Depending on the size of your company, these 2Selfs Theory culture-reconstruction processes can be worth millions or even billions of dollars to your company if you understand them and employ them periodically to escape the innovation deathtrap that buries so many companies with long histories of success. Evolutionary innovations, generally in the form of new products using existing technologies aimed at current markets for a company, do not invite our attention here because they do not require a shift in the company culture (shared auto-contexts), which is the underlying killer of innovations. Companies don’t fail for lack of these evolutionary innovations; smart people produce a steady stream of those and companies easily incorporate them into their existing culture. The challenge is to incorporate revolutionary innovations because that requires overcoming “culture lock” or the “status quo,” which is the cause of innovation deathtraps. Revolutionary innovations must pass through three stages to achieve success:

  1. Create (imagine, invent) the innovation

  2. Recognize the importance and potential of the innovation

  3. Relentlessly drive innovation to success achievement (the culture change process)

 

Stage 1 of Realizing Innovation Benefits – Creation:

 

Identifying Revolutionary Innovations Is Not the Biggest Problem: Stage 1 may seem like the most difficult part of the innovation process because somebody needs to invent something that is discontinuously new to the company, but it is actually the easiest part. Companies always have internal entrepreneurs who are searching for new ways to make money for their company. These people may be new to the company and therefore not yet constrained by the culture. They may be people who read technical articles, go to technical conferences, or find a way to tinker with new ideas. They may be members of a dedicated internal research group or “skunk works” where people are allowed to work on innovative projects while flying under the radar of budget cutters. I cannot think of a single instance of a company failure where there were not people inside the company who clearly saw the threats and opportunities, and had innovative solutions to address them.

 

Stage 2 of Realizing Innovation Benefits – Recognition:

 

Automatic Rejection of Revolutionary Innovations: Busy leaders are consumed focusing on meeting deadlines, achieving their numbers, attending endless meetings to reconcile issues, handling operations issues, and dealing with the occasional personnel problems that they usually do not have time or interest to pay attention to mavericks in an organization who propose radical new ideas. Leaders are quick to embrace incremental improvements to the business they run. However, present them with innovations that are outside of their ability to understand (i.e., outside of their current auto-contexts as embedded in the company culture) and they will normally dismiss them and maybe even punish the innovator for wasting time on such nonsense that doesn’t fit the company mold.

 

Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreats: For the vast majority of readers, this will be the first time you had an explicit understanding of the underlying cause of the innovation deathtrap and therefore the first time you will have had the opportunity to use explicit processes to make your company repeatedly and discontinuously innovative. An excellent mechanism to escape innovation deathtraps is to turn the annual strategy formation activity into something that produces valuable results. Instead of a normal pro forma strategy creation exercise often driven by a staff person that produces a wonderful binder that goes on bookshelves to gather dust for the next year, you can use the annual gathering of top management to make a crucial, perhaps life and death for your company, difference. The real value of an annual strategic planning retreat does not come from identifying incremental improvements; each operating unit and functional area is capable of doing that on their own. An annual retreat of top management can serve an enormously useful function if it focuses on searching out revolutionary innovative ideas and product concepts within the company and using potent processes to ensure that the best ones get turned into new profit streams for the business. Most companies fail to recognize that transformational change is the best purpose of a strategy planning retreat, and if they do recognize that, they fail to execute it effectively (because they have not explicitly understood the blocking power and resurrecting possibilities of auto-contexts). Accordingly, identifying these annual gatherings as Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreats can focus on the real deep purpose. As stated previously, these retreats are also a great opportunity, as part of preparing to reconstruct obsolete cultural elements, to focus on the elusive and illusive process of searching out anomalies between the company culture and the business environment.

  

Secret Sauce: With what you have already learned, what are the underlying sources of the barrier to a culture reconstruction, and which principle from 2Selfs Theory do we need to apply to create the culture reconstructions that will enable innovative new products to flourish? Now I will give you an outline of my recipe for the “secret sauce” of how to turn normally impotent annual strategy retreats into a systematic process for creating the birth of discontinuously new products and profit streams based on internal disruptive innovations. We know that it is very difficult to take innovative concepts through the process of making them new profit streams in established companies. The first barrier is the moat that surrounds the fortress of the status quo in the form of the certainty illusion. That barrier is so formidable that people rarely have any interest in trying to cross it. If company leaders somehow build a bridge over the seemingly impassible certainty-illusion moat, they then run smack into a giant gate that seems impenetrable in the form of the unfair fight associated with encountering the Comfort Imperative when attempting to reconstruct a key element of the company culture. This is where we need auto-context-focused Φ3 processes because most people seem to believe, at least implicitly, that this is a thinking-self activity. However, you now understand well that the Comfort Imperative is involved, which leads to an unfair fight that normally causes discontinuous product innovations to fail. To reconstruct the culture (shared auto-contexts) to enable the successful launching of innovative new products, we need to employ the counteracting principle, just as we do when we need to reconstruct auto-behaviors.

 

Employing the Counteracting Principle: Avoiding the innovation deathtrap is not primarily an intellectual exercise. As by now you know well, the auto-self is the main culprit through certainty illusion (and delusion) self-deceptions and the Comfort Imperative. Therefore, to create a reliable formula for repeatedly escaping innovation deathtraps, we need to find ways to reveal and challenge our certainty illusions and overcome the feelings that block reconstructing a culture. As part of that, we must induce counteracting feelings in order to achieve success. The person who creates an innovation will normally not be the one who can lead the charge to turn it into a new business for her or his company. Force (yes, no voting or avoiding) every senior manager who has the privilege of attending the Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreat to sponsor at least one internal innovation. Each senior leader will be responsible for working with internal innovators to make the business case for why a specific product idea will provide benefits to the corporation and how to make that happen. The entrepreneurs will present their innovation at the Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreat with strong support from one or more sponsoring executive. The participants at the retreat rate executives, using secret ballots, on how well they support the entrepreneur and on the business case they make for the innovation. You should now recognize that we are using the counteracting principle to compel leaders to support innovations. Each executive will feel significant discomfort if they fail to make a credible business case, in front of the CEO and their peers, for the discontinuous innovation they sponsor. They also will feel great pleasure if the business case they sponsored receives a high rating by the participants at the Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreat.

 

Surfacing Revolutionary Innovations: Many mechanisms exist to surface innovations that entrepreneurs are nurturing within a company. One obvious mechanism is to have the internal entrepreneurs submit their innovations for consideration prior to the annual retreat in a form that will entice executives to sponsor them. Another mechanism to surface internal innovations and sign-up sponsors is to have a meeting well in advance (1/2 year works great if all candidate innovations can be handled in one session, otherwise multiple sessions would be required) of the Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreat. These sessions provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their innovations and the executives can discuss each one, and they have the obligation to sign up as sponsors for one or more new product concept. At the end of the Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreat that follows the Stage 2 process, it will become obvious to the CEO and senior staff exactly where the company has its major vulnerabilities and opportunities.

 

Stage 3 of Realizing Innovation Benefits – Culture Reconstruction:

  

Executive Ownership of Selected Innovations: After entrepreneurs have identified potential discontinuously new products, services, or processes and the executive team has rank-ordered them in terms of business potential, the next challenge is to get the company to do something about it. By the end of the Culture Reconstruction Retreat, the executive team led by the CEO and CFO needs to determine how many new initiatives the company can afford or must find a way to launch. Once that is accomplished, the next stage is to assign a senior manager to have the responsibility to launch each new business. That leader could be one of the sponsors of the innovation at the retreat, but it may fit better with another executive’s business. The important thing is that the CEO must select an executive and he or she must be held accountable for the success of the new initiative. The process requires reconstructing part of the company’s culture, so it will require a strong leader, and rewards and career setbacks must be associated with the success or failure of launching the new business. The leader has to be “all in” because the culture reconstruction process is almost always difficult.

 

Stop Trying to “Wing” It: It does not matter how smart you are, how much knowledge you have, or how forceful your personality is, you suffer from the certainty illusion and the Comfort Imperative just as everyone else does. The important point is to follow processes, including those identified in the Revelations section above, plus those that others will create, to reveal the contents of auto-contexts and use the counteracting principle as effective paths to overcome the innovation deathtrap. This innovation-deathtrap failure mechanism is unfortunately an inherent byproduct the human mind where successes automatically construct certainty illusions that sow the seeds of failure by inoculating organization cultures against future disruptive innovations. The certainty illusion dupes us all and the Comfort Imperative repels all of us. You now know how to reveal the tenaciously hidden and deceptive auto-contexts contents and how to create counteracting processes to overcome the innovation deathtrap – use them!

Heroes Needed!

 

Likely Professions that Will Produce Our Needed Heroes: I hope by now I have convinced you of the chronic need to launch the 2Selfs Revolution to resurrect the greatness of the West. If not, you might want to read the 2Selfs Revolution book (or consider rereading this article because it takes repetitions to construct any auto-context including 2Selfs Worldview). A major challenge we face is how to launch this mental revolution. It will happen profession by profession and segment by segment. Heroes will emerge from many unexpected areas possibly including an area of interest to you. Here is a list of likely candidates within which heroic leaders will emerge to drive the supraevolutionary ascent of their profession or discipline.

  • Business

  • The correspondence press (i.e., the press that endeavors to assure their stories correspond with actual events in the world)

  • Nonprofits (NGOs) focused on social improvements

  • Political action groups

  • University departments focused on human activities, including

    • Business

    • Political theory

    • Economics

    • Education

    • Psychology

    • Sociology

    • Education

    • Religion

    • History

    • Philosophy

  • Transformation coaches*

* See article on coaching to view different types of coaching and to understand what transformation coaches do from a from a 2Selfs Theory/Worldview “Spaceland” perspective.

We Need “Founding Parents” of the Supraevolutionary Ascent of Professions Dealing with Human Activities: I suspect the business community may get out in front in launching a supraevolutionary ascent in their domain because businesses have strict measurement requirements so they will quickly recognize the need, they have already been working on “soft” success factors, and many business leaders have the gravitas to drive transformational change. However, each of the professions listed above, and likely many more, will need to start explicitly recognizing, comprehensively understanding, and systematically managing auto-self activities. During and immediately after supraevolutionary ascents, opportunities abound for the emergence of heroic figures to raise problem-solving to discontinuously higher levels across a broad spectrum of activities. In the United States, we still celebrate our heroic country founders, who were children of the European Enlightenment, as the “Founding Fathers” of the United States. Now we need to raise up “Founding Parents” for each profession focused on human activities who will create the supraevolutionary ascent for their profession, which future generations will celebrate.

 

Bootstrapping the 2Selfs Revolution: Eventually, the cumulative effect of many professions focused on human activities making independent supraevolutionary ascents within their domains and diffusing 2Selfs Worldview will lead to (or constitute) the 2Selfs Revolution. This is similar to what happened in the Science Revolution that for a long time focused just on astronomy but eventually broke out and created the science methodology (that with use constructed the science worldview) from what had been natural philosophy. This secularization of problem-solving eventually expanded from just the physical world (science) into the mental world (human activities) in what we now know as the European Enlightenment.

 

The Nature of Our Current Mental-World Problems Requires Interdisciplinary Solutions: While progress in the physical world often depends on increasing specialization, the level of progress we desperately need in the near future for the mental world will require more big-picture problem-solving and therefore multidisciplinary approaches (the 2Selfs Revolution book discusses this need at length). Therefore, we will need a comprehensive theory for understanding and managing automatic human activities that can helpfully span many professions and disciplines, and currently 2Selfs Theory is the only mechanism that satisfies that crucial need. Also, 2Selfs Worldview provides the foundation to solve problems across many types of human activities. Even though I started developing 2Selfs Theory to overcome problems I was seeing and experiencing in business organizations I was leading, I always kept my eye on the bigger picture. Accordingly, I acquired a massive nonfiction library and investigated currently unsolved (and unsolvable!) problems across many disciplines. The result is a generalized theory that covers a diverse range of human-activities issues and uses profession-neutral language so is applicable to many different disciplines.

Summing Up

 

What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There:

 

Constructing 2Selfs Worldview: The goal of this article and especially now with this summary is not only to empower your thinking-self to understand how the auto-self works through providing details of 2Selfs Theory but also to construct 2Selfs Worldview within your auto-self. Because constructing a new worldview requires repetition and in order to increase the likelihood that 2Selfs Worldview constructs within your auto-self, I repeat here many of the topics that you have already seen, from slightly new perspectives. 2Selfs Worldview will make it possible for you to visualize automatic human activities “intuitively.” That is, you will automatically see human activities differently than you previously did. As part of that process, I have used the analogy between the number of top-level worldviews we have embedded in the West to the number of physical dimensions from the Flatland book as a shorthand way for all of us to visualize these mental-structure differences. I realize such a process might leave me, this article, and the 2Selfs Revolution open to mockery by people (including some of Duper Don’s most ardent supporters, creationists, and proponents of negative values) who want to denigrate this effort and the need for the 2Selfs Revolution. I anticipate assaults of the form “ignore this character who has wandered off to somewhere in ‘Spaceland’” from some people who are willfully determined to remain mired in the muck of the West’s disintegrating Flatland environment. However, I will continue to use the physical dimensions of Lineland, Flatland, and Spaceland (often without using quotes to indicate “symbolically”) as a handy device to help you visualize the number of overarching worldviews in the Mental-Prison Age (Lineland: 1), our current Thinking-Self Age (Flatland: 2), and our desired 2Selfs Age (Spaceland: 3). Citizens of the West will need all the help they can get to transform our suite of top-level worldviews from where we are in Flatland to where we desperately need to arrive in Spaceland.

 

Do We Need Improvements to Our Thinking-Self or Auto-Self Processes? Since supraevolutionary ascents always entail a worldview transformation, and in this case, it would require a worldview construction (fortunately, not a traumatic reconstruction of an existing worldview) at the top level of Western problem-solving, so the incremental argument devolves to asserting we only have a thinking-self problem not an auto-self problem. That is, we can have a successful future by making incremental, thinking-self-based improvements within our nearly 2½ century old Thinking-Self Age (Flatland) worldview foundation and that we do not need to launch the 2Selfs Revolution to create a supraevolutionary ascent to 2Selfs Age with a new (Spaceland) worldview foundation. This implies that incremental improvements to empirical theories will meet our growing business needs, the Fourth Industrial Revolution can maximize its effectiveness through a continuous advance from the Third Industrial Revolution, overcoming technology-enabled voter manipulations underway in the West mostly require clearer thinking, and teaching creationism to children is just a minor nuisance that they will soon overcome. The challenge you need to face is whether you believe deeply that most of our current intractable problems are primarily thinking-self-based or auto-self-based. Look at the increasing number of problems we currently do not (cannot!) solve adequately, as most prominently displayed in the collapse of our political systems, where the problem has become so bad that the major US political parties have radicalized to the point that we are in danger of thrashing between the radical right and the radical left. The 2Selfs Revolution book discusses this debilitating possibility in considerable detail. We should understand our growing unsolved problems as anomalies on a large scale. When we see so many widespread anomalies, we can now recognize that something is fundamentally wrong with the top-level worldviews of Western culture. We now understand the nature of this problem – we have lacked a worldview to empower us to manage the mental-world ramifications of our enormous physical-world progress. Symbolically, our Flatland structure that served us so well for over two centuries is crumbling – we need to make a supraevolutionary ascent to Spaceland.

 

Challenges of Heroically Launching a Supraevolutionary Ascent for Your Profession: Just as during the Science and Enlightenment Revolutions (when many heroes stepped up to drive the West through its supraevolutionary ascent from Lineland to Flatland), heroes will now emerge to drive this (Flatland to Spaceland) transformation forward, most likely profession by profession. You have a choice to be one of those heroic leaders, to become a successful follower, or to be a laggard who gets left behind. Unfortunately, another characteristic of worldviews is that the more successful someone has been, the more deeply embedded their professional worldview, and therefore the more difficult it will be to add 2Selfs Worldview. This is the same auto-context problem that causes companies with long histories of successes to suffer from culture lock (certainty illusions) and many to go out of business to be replaced by startup companies. Because we are about to experience supraevolutionary ascents in many professions including business and most university departments that address human activities, a new sorting of the most effective participants in these professions will inevitably occur based on who catches this wave and who misses it. If you are an acknowledged expert in your field, you could suffer from professional-worldview lock (certainty illusions) and let the younger generation (that is, your colleagues who don’t have their Thinking-Self-Age worldview as deeply embedded as yours) pass you by! Are you going to spend the rest of your career trapped within our systemically deteriorating “Flatland” worldview foundation where you achieved your successes and established your reputation, or are you going to be able to visualize and ascend into “Spaceland” where discontinuously new capabilities and therefore spectacularly greater opportunities await you? Some will achieve this supraevolutionary ascent and some will not – you may not achieve this transformation because your auto-self (mainly through certainty illusions and the Comfort Imperative) blocks you, but I think it will be tragic if you don’t at least try.

 

West-Wide Mega-Change is Inevitable – We Now Have a Choice Which Way It Goes: You (we!) are unfortunate to live in a very rare time of the supraevolutionary descent for our whole culture, which by its nature has been extremely difficult to recognize due to certainty illusions, the inability to understand worldview transformations from a Flatland perspective, and the effects of the Comfort Imperative. You now understand the root cause because you have seen widespread evidence of the Abilities Mismatch becoming overwhelmingly exposed by runaway progress in the physical world due to increasingly effective software built upon amazing advances in semiconductor technology, which created currently unsolvable mental-world problems that have caused the demise of Mega-Cycle #2. However, you (we) are also very fortunate to live in a rare historical moment where we have the opportunity to launch Mega-Cycle #3 of the West very quickly to reverse our current fall from greatness because with 2Selfs Theory we finally have the direct, explicit ability to achieve the supraevolution level where we understand and can manage the supraevolution process. We at last have the ability to achieve the adult level of problem-solving maturity. Just look at the amazing progress scientists and technologists have made and are now making in the physical world since our predecessors emancipated the thinking-self. As an illustrative recent example, look at the wave of insights into continent migrations and other geological events (earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain formation) after plate-tectonics theory was conceived and then the plate-tectonics worldview (indirectly) propagated through the geology profession. Now just try to imagine how much progress researchers will make in many different professions as we emancipate the auto-self so we can, among many other benefits, directly construct and propagate new worldviews when we notice too many anomalies accumulating. Opportunities now abound. Will you be a leader, a follower, or will you get left behind? Because for the first time in human history this supraevolutionary ascent will (must!) be explicit, you actually have a choice, but it won’t be easy due to certainty illusions, the Comfort Imperative, and the lack of direct visibility into the state of our auto-contexts.

 

Being Different vs. Becoming Different: It does not traumatize people today, as it did during the Worldview-Wars Age, to learn about the natural physical world, that the earth is not the center of the universe, and that we can understand and manage the physical world to our enormous benefits. Similarly, in 2Selfs Age, it will not traumatize citizens, as it does for many people today, to learn about the natural (automatic) mental world, that our minds often overwhelmingly deceive us, and that we need to take new types of actions to overcome this dysfunction so we can understand and manage the mental world to our enormous benefits. These are high-level examples that becoming different is difficult and traumatic when we already have a worldview embedded within our auto-self that we must reconstruct to see the world around us differently, which dumbfounds us due to the certainty illusion and creates often unbearable discomfort due to the Comfort Imperative. However, being different is not difficult or traumatic because constructing new highly powerful worldviews does not collide with the certainty illusion or the Comfort Imperative.

 

A New Wave of Grand Progress is Coming – Supraevolution Equilibria! The reason grand progress seems to come in waves is because when a new worldview emerges and is propagated for a domain (for specific professions and even up to the overarching worldview foundation for a whole society), people start to see the world within that domain fundamentally differently and in crucial ways more powerfully. We might consider this a supraevolution form of “punctuated equilibrium” that is analogous to the biological evolution form of punctuated equilibrium as articulated by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. Grand progress happened in Classical Greece when philosophers created a new problem-solving equilibrium in the form of a secular worldview compartmentalized from the polytheistic worldview that had dominated. This launched a wave of new brilliant philosophical insights into the physical and mental worlds. Then, a new, much more constrained equilibrium ensued that lasted for a millennium during the Mental-Prison Age. That was followed by new domain-specific problem-solving equilibria first in astronomy and then other science disciplines during the Science Revolution that unleashed an explosion of progress across a broad spectrum of physical-world activities. Concurrently with the Science Revolution, the Enlightenment Revolution launched a wave of philosophical insights into human nature, which constructed a new equilibrium for solving mental-world problems more effectively. The Encyclopédie (a grand encyclopedia with many named scientists and philosophers) consolidated these physical-world and mental-world insights and in 1772 published its final segment that served to secularize problem solving for the West, which (indirectly) established the problem-solving worldview foundation (and new top-level, culture-wide equilibrium) for the West’s Thinking-Self Age. That unleashed another wave of innovations including representative governments, market economies, and the first industrial revolution all occurring within a very short time after the completion of the Encyclopédie. The advent of 2Selfs Theory, the 2Selfs Revolution book, and articles at this website including this one should jump-start the “Spaceland” process of constructing the 2Selfs Worldview foundation that can launch 2Selfs Age and lead to another amazing wave (within our new problem-solving and explicit values-management equilibrium) of progress that happens after each rare top-level supra-evolutionary ascent for a society.

 

Creating New Realities: Fundamental (discontinuous) progress normally requires a transformation from having metaphoric access and using Φ2 empirical theories and worldviews to introducing terminology to describe new concepts and creating Φ3 theories that explain root causes and driving forces, which lead to Φ3 worldviews. In our current case, sometimes we can appropriate existing words and use them in a way that is consistent with their general (Flatland) meaning but infuse them with an additional specific (Spaceland) meaning. 2Selfs Theory examples of this extension of our vocabulary include “worldview” and “compartmentalization.” Other times, when we only have Φ2 (Flatland) metaphors that point to something perceived as important but still mysterious, we must invent words to identify the new Φ3 (Spaceland) realities we have uncovered and can then explain. The new terminology introduced by 2Selfs Theory includes four compound words of the form “auto-”,  “certainty illusion” and “certainty delusion,” a “constructed” form of “truth,” “Comfort Imperative,” “Abilities Mismatch,” “worldview levels (or phases or Φ’s ) of effectiveness,” “worldview domains of effectiveness,” and “supraevolution.” These are Spaceland terms that do not make much sense in our Flatland world.

 

The Need for Two Simultaneous Revolutions: The first two industrial revolutions (steam technologies, electrical technologies) created massive social changes that the West was able to accommodate within the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age worldview foundation because their social-systems impacts occurred slowly enough. However, as you now know well, the Third Industrial Revolution (digital technologies) created social-systems changes of a magnitude and rate that our Flatland worldview foundation increasingly could not manage. The Fourth Industrial Revolution not only will impact us in many additional ways but also will occur much too rapidly for businesses and whole societies to absorb them and adjust to their ramifications within our current Flatland environment – it will increasingly exacerbate the problems we encountered with the Third Industrial Revolution. That is why the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the 2Selfs Revolution must occur simultaneously so that we can maximize the potential advantages of the relentless technology progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and explicitly and therefore rapidly manage the inevitable consequences to our social systems. Symbolically, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will only accelerate the consequences to our social systems if we stay trapped within our Flatland (Thinking-Self Age) mental world; we must launch our supraevolutionary ascent into the Spaceland (2Selfs Age) mental world!

 

Auto-Behavior Challenges:

 

Thinking-Self, Auto-Self Pas de Deux: Part of what 2Selfs Theory models as auto-behaviors, others successfully investigated within the Flatland worldview foundation during the Thinking-Self Age including behaviorists from the psychology profession. Most of this research focused on our animal-like auto-behavior patterns, so researchers conducted much of their investigations on animals, where the science worldview and science processes work effectively. Also, in a psychotherapy environment, psychologists have addressed (after a long detour into hard behaviorism in the first half of the 20th century due to instilling the “science-only” worldview into the psychology profession) the interaction between the thinking-self and auto-self in cognitive-behavior therapies. 2Selfs Theory addresses the tight interplay between the thinking-self and the auto-self in a different, non-therapeutic domain, where the auto-self works in the background to enable or disable our thinking-self’s abilities, and previously researchers have not adequately dealt with this thinking and problem-solving pas de deux.

 

Discomfort-Caused Pretending: Another sign that we are on a mega-descent is the increase in the amount of widespread pretending. As systemic discomfort persists and grows without people explicitly recognizing that is happening to them, they inadvertently succumb to externally imposed pretending in the form of simplistic-solutions and they degenerate into internally generated pretending in the form of evasion gimmicks. You have seen examples in this article of mass pretending in business (that literature searches and retrospective interviews will lead to “sustainable success”), politics (people falling for untethered conspiracy theories, including the Putin/Trump manipulations), and religion (magical creation of everything about 6000 years ago against overwhelming evidence), which if not overcome will lead to prosperity suicide. A major challenge we all face is that in our Flatland world we rarely notice when we are pretending even when such make-believe creates negative consequences to our successes and well-being. We will be able to do much better in Spaceland, especially when we learn to deal effectively with anomalies and when we construct more-powerful forms of personal responsibilities.

 

Auto-Context Challenges:

 

We Must Recognize That Some of Our Deepest Realities Are Counterproductive or Dysfunctional: The main type of auto-self activity that we must conquer to resurrect the greatness of the West is our auto-contexts. We (and the rest of the world) have failed to take this plunge so far because the nature of auto-contexts is such that they operate automatically outside of our awareness, they often overwhelmingly delude us, and we normally cannot discover their contents through introspection. Our auto-contexts deceive us so deeply that most people most of the time are repulsed by even a suggestion they should investigate the viability of what they experience as some of their deepest realities. That is an underlying reason why some of the reviews of my 2Selfs Revolution book advised me to stay away from politics and religion and to avoid even hinting to university faculty that science is not the right process/worldview to understand and manage our most difficult human-activities problems. However, you have seen in this article a huge number of deep assumptions, assertions, beliefs, and theories that unmistakably do not correspond with realities in the world outside of people’s minds or that block their ability to have many of the successes they desire. We must all pay attention to anomalies!

Elected Officials Seem Oblivious to Their Chronic Dysfunction: Just watch our elected officials in the US go about pretending they are actually governing effectively while they mostly engage in trying to outdo each other in manipulating their constituents and therefore voters. This charade has been going on for a long time now, but it hit an absurd level in the impeachment activities of Duper Don with both sides posturing, relevant information being withheld by unilateral decree, and many key participants not even trying to provide an illusion that they take the constitutionally mandated process seriously. An additional problem with the American government system is that our courts have been unable to take timely decisive actions to resolve conflicts between the executive and legislative branches during the impeachment process. We need to stop pretending that our governing systems are still viable because the underlying drivers of the dysfunction are intrinsic to our current mental-world dysfunction at the end of the Thinking-Self (Flatland) Age. The only way to revive our moribund governing systems is to launch the 2Selfs Revolution so we can construct greater responsibilities into otherwise-vulnerable voters to provide them with discontinuously greater capabilities to recognize and resist the rampant technology-enabled manipulations that have rendered our governing systems incapable of returning to viability within our current Flatland worldview foundation. The 2Selfs Revolution will enable us to yank our governing systems in the West back from the abyss of collapse as we learn to understand and manage our auto-self and particularly our auto-contexts from a Spaceland perspective.

 

Exposing Anomalies: You have seen many examples of anomalies in this article. If you have the courage to look for and accept anomalies, you will discover they are everywhere and growing as our Flatland worldview foundation continues to crumble around us. Here is where we can help each other. Just as the intern helped (and initially annoyed) Chris when he challenged a process his company used, we can challenge each other (even though that will often initially offend people due to the certainty illusion) when we clearly see anomalies or when assertions don’t make sense to us and we would like an explanation. In this article, I have challenged many assumptions and beliefs that some of my 2Selfs Revolution book reviewers advised me to avoid because that would offend or repel my readers, but the process of explicitly pointing out, or exposing, anomalies in others’ beliefs, assumptions, assertions, and theories is precisely what we all must start doing. That will be one of the central advances as we transform from our Flatland world to our new and more powerful Spaceland world. We must all learn not only to accept but also to embrace challenges to our auto-contexts. Some challenges to our beliefs may prove to be unfounded, but inevitably, in these rapidly changing, technology-driven, and highly manipulative times, others will expose dysfunctional anomalies to our deepest beliefs and assumptions. That will provide us the opportunity to summon the courage to make the needed transformations to secure a greater future. Just as with our auto-behaviors where others see ours and we normally don’t, so also is it easier for us to see anomalies in other people’s assumptions or beliefs, even though they cannot see (or accept) them, and we miss most of our own. It is deeply naïve to assume (and notice) that others have objectionable auto-behaviors and we don’t or that others have assumptions or beliefs that clearly don’t align with the facts of the world or with their own success desires, and that is not true for us. We should be able to transcend most of this Flatland gullibility when we reach the higher supraevolution level of Spaceland. We need to become bold and assertive in recognizing and pointing out anomalies in other people’s certainties (and become much better at noticing our own). However, we must be careful about what we mean by anomalies. We need to identify “in here” certainties (i.e., auto-context-based worldviews, cultural elements, beliefs, assertions, or assumptions) that we can verify do not correspond with facts in the world “out there” or that we think do not align with the changed and changing environment and therefore will increasingly lead to failure. Excluded from the misalignments we are looking for are personal preferences including those associated with political or religious sects.

Making Our Social Systems More Consistently Positive: Our social systems, including the three main ones we focused on in this article, are mental activities from our thinking-self and auto-self (including the Comfort Imperative, worldviews, and certainty illusions, which often operate in ways we don’t understand well or manage adequately and those that deeply mislead us). As a result, businesses, political/governing systems, and religions can be, have been, and are used for positive and negative purposes. One of the major goals of the 2Selfs Revolution is to get these and other social systems to operate more consistently for positive purposes.

 

Supraevolutionary Ascents in Personal Responsibilities: While this article has focused mostly on the need for supraevolutionary ascents in our social systems, the 2Selfs Revolution will also create supraevolutionary ascents in our personal responsibilities. We can now apply 2Selfs Theory to transform auto-self characteristics in a variety of personal-responsibilities activities including constructing resistance to the widespread technology-enabled voter manipulations currently underway, mentally inoculating students against recreational drug use, constructing socially responsible behaviors, and reconstructing dysfunctional auto-behaviors and auto-contexts in prisoners before releasing them. We should expect to accomplish all of these Spaceland personal-responsibilities constructions and more as we enter 2Selfs Age, which we have unfortunately done a poor job of in our Flatland world of the Thinking-Self Age. Constructing discontinuously greater voter responsibilities is now a requirement to resurrect the viability of our crumbling political systems in the West.

 

Adjudicating Culture Wars: You have seen some of the breakthroughs that Thomas Kuhn created in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in the forms of revolutionary (auto-context reconstructions) versus normal (thinking-self improvements within an existing worldview) science and the accumulation of anomalies as an alert that our worldviews (his paradigms) have reached the end of their effectiveness, which 2Selfs Theory generalizes. Now I want to present another of his breakthroughs in the form of “incommensurability” where he identifies the impossibility of adjudicating battles between two (science in his case) competing worldviews because there is no neutral ground from which to make the assessment. That conflict was true in general terms during our Thinking-Self Age, but 2Selfs Worldview now provides us with a new neutral mental space from which we can adjudicate culture wars. As we ascend to 2Selfs Age, we will be able to adjudicate conflicts between many current worldview wars (such as science versus religion, when it wanders into the physical world, but also the more general case of “in here” certainties versus “out there” realities) because 2Selfs Worldview is a worldview about worldviews (in addition to other aspects of our auto-self). Overcoming this incommensurability for a large number of current dysfunctional culture wars is yet another major advantage we will accrue as we transform ourselves from our Flatland to our Spaceland worldview foundation.

Has 2Selfs Worldview Formed for You? Congratulations, you made it through this article that contains many unfamiliar concepts and transformation techniques. You are now on your way to having unprecedented capabilities and therefore you will have the ability to solve previously intractable, debilitating problems and have the opportunity to make discontinuous improvements in your life, your profession, and thereby possibly to play a role in resurrecting the greatness of your country and the West. However, while the new knowledge you have acquired will serve you well, you also now understand that in order to maximize the benefit of having comprehensive knowledge (with 2Selfs Theory) about the auto-self, you must have 2Selfs Worldview embedded within an auto-context to make effective use of that knowledge. The difficulty is that, unlike for explicit knowledge, you cannot look inside your mind to see if 2Selfs Worldview (or any auto-context) has sufficiently formed for you – a major barrier comes from the fact that we don’t have access to our auto-contexts (or the vast majority of our auto-self’s characteristics) through introspection. For many of you who worked your way through this article, 2Selfs Worldview will have sufficiently embedded within an auto-context that you will be on your way to seeing automatic human activities clearly and using 2Selfs Theory effectively. For others, having 2Selfs Worldview construct sufficiently within your auto-self will require further effort. You can do that through additional reading from my 2Selfs Revolution book or other articles at this website (of which I will periodically add new ones). You can also cause 2Selfs Worldview to embed within your auto-self if you force yourself to look for opportunities to see auto-self activities occurring within yourself or others and attempt to transform characteristics that do not align with success, well-being, and values needs. You are on your way to being a citizen of 2Selfs Age – keep striving in the new (Spaceland) world of conquering the auto-self to manage mental-world activities just as your formal (Flatland) education empowers you to manage your thinking-self to solve physical-world problems (and many mental-world problems but not an escalating number of new types of such problems). We cannot directly notice our auto-contexts but we can indirectly recognize if we have 2Selfs Worldview embedded as an auto-context by observing whether the activities of our automatic mode and of the auto-self activities of others become increasingly obvious to us.

 

Have I Convinced You? I claimed at the beginning of this article, “This article will convince you that the next wave of discontinuous progress must come from explicitly understanding and managing just what discontinuous progress entails – transforming the auto-contexts of a critical mass a citizens of a profession, a country, or a whole culture as in the West.” I hope you are now well convinced. If not, please take additional actions including reading my 2Selfs Revolution book or re-reading this article because repetition (to construct 2Selfs Worldview) is the key that unlocks the door to a future of greater successes, well-being, and shared positive values for you, your profession, your country, and the West. To make a last attempt in this article, I provide a final section. Please remember that we cannot directly see the contents of our worldviews (and auto-contexts in general) through introspection; we can only infer their contents indirectly by noticing how well we understand the topics within their domain of effectiveness. You should be able to gauge how well 2Selfs Worldview has embedded within your auto-self by focusing on how clearly you understand these final paragraphs because they definitely address Spaceland topics that would be difficult to understand clearly from within the Flatland worldview foundation.

 

Similarities and Differences between the Science/Enlightenment and 2Selfs Revolutions:

 

Our Predecessors in the West Courageously Made Top-Level Transformations: The supra-evolutionary ascent that will launch the West’s Mega-Cycle #3 will occur through a (direct this time) worldview transformation at the individual, profession, country, and culture levels, just as happened (indirectly) with the two previous overarching supraevolutionary ascents. You have received keen insights into how excruciatingly difficult this process is through my annotation of the book Flatland. We also can gain additional insights by revisiting why the Science Revolution was so traumatic. A widespread, deeply embedded worldview created unshakable belief that everything in the physical world operated exclusively through supernatural agency. The concept that natural processes may be at work and that us mere humans could understand and manage the physical world independent of a deity violated the most obvious and deeply experienced realities (i.e., it was constructed into the worldviews of citizens throughout the West) and was widely believed to be blasphemous. Yet somehow our cultural predecessors made that heroic (Lineland to Flatland) journey (painfully slowly through several generations over more than two centuries) to reconstruct part of the underlying top-level worldview and create another (implicitly) compartmentalized top-level (science) worldview, which launched the Modern West.

 

For Our Current 2Selfs Revolution Transformation, We Must Stay Alert and Realistic about Anomalies: We now encounter a different but analogous challenge in that we must face the fact that many of our most obvious and deeply experienced realities are wrong. The terrible truth is that many of our beliefs or assumptions or theories not only fail to correspond with realities outside of our minds, they also stand in our way of resurrecting the greatness of the West so we can enjoy a new era of greater progress, well-being, and shared positive values. Our cultural predecessors started moving toward the science (initially astronomy) worldview by noticing a growing number of anomalies as careful observers tried to make sense of the details of planetary motion based on the geocentric model. As they tracked the occasional retrograde motion and differences of speeds of the planets, they had to keep adding contortions (deferents, epicycles, eccentrics, equants) to the basic (circular orbits) geocentric model (you can see Kuhn* for a discussion on the ramifications of Ptolemy’s ancient theoretical model of a geocentric universe). A heliocentric model (Copernicus) with elliptical orbits (Kepler) finally eliminated most of the anomalies and resulted in a good Φ2 model of our solar system. Then, Newton added his gravitational theory to explain the driving force, which created a Φ3 theory and worldview. That was a specific version of the general point that we need to stay on the alert for anomalies in the form of data points that don’t fit (or contradict) our assumptions, theories, assertions, and beliefs. That is true for all of our assumptions including our deepest experiential realities, which often mislead us and therefore block our way to a much better future. Therefore, a required pathway toward the 2Selfs Revolution is for all of us to stay on alert for anomalies, which demonstrate that even our deepest certainties may not be true or may stand in the way of our desired future.

* The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought, Thomas Kuhn

We Need Courage to Determine Which of Our Auto-Contexts Are Functional and Which Are Not! We now understand what actually happened during the Worldview-Wars Age. More importantly, we now understand the auto-context transformation process so that we can do it directly this time. However, understanding the existence of auto-contexts and their two major forms of deeply elusive worldviews and overwhelmingly illusive certainty illusions does not make the process easy. Last time, the major worldview barrier was a single religion-based worldview. This time, the major worldview barrier is understanding worldview (or more generally auto-context) impacts on our future successes, well-being, and shared positive values. The key to success for the (Flatland) Modern West was constructing a science (or more generally, secular thinking-self-empowering) worldview even though that went against the deep beliefs of the vast majority of people at the beginning of the Worldview-Wars Age. The path to success this time is to overcome the widespread deep belief that all of our experienced realities, our certain beliefs, and our deepest assumptions are necessarily correct or useful. Some are and some are not. The key to future success is for a critical mass of citizens of the West to have the courage (with 2Selfs theory, we now have the tools) to figure out the viability of our beliefs (auto-contexts) on a case-by-case basis. Will you?

 

“Flatland” Empowered Us to Manage Our Thinking; “Spaceland” Will Empower Us to Manage Our Believing: Here is another empowering distinction for you: our thinking-self controls our thinking (within the bounds created by our worldviews); our auto-self incarnates our believing. Many of our deepest beliefs correspond with the world outside of our minds or provide the foundation for us to achieve our goals, so they serve us well. However, it does not matter how passionately or how certainly we belief something is true or how deeply we experience an assertion or theory or assumption as the “the way we do things” or “obviously correct,” many of our deepest beliefs are certainty illusions. Whereas the greatest barrier encountered in the Science Revolution was (implicitly) overcoming the deep belief (i.e., reconstructing that specific worldview) that supernatural forces controlled the physical world, the 2Selfs Revolution will generalize that process by (explicitly) managing our deep belief in our deep beliefs, of which religions are just one (albeit very powerful) example. Some of our deepest beliefs that others inadvertently or maliciously constructed within our auto-contexts were certainty delusions from the beginning. Perhaps the best current example of overt widespread construction of a certainty delusion is the child abuse of constructing creationism in children. Other times, individuals or the environment construct certainty illusions within our auto-contexts that correspond with facts in the world or that at least serve our success and well-being needs well, but the social environment in which we operate changes (as now happens increasingly frequently) to the point where a certainty illusion becomes counterproductive or even a dysfunctional certainty delusion. The Thinking-Self Age maximized our abilities to manage our thinking; 2Selfs Age will additionally maximize our abilities to manage our believing.

 

The Worldview Transformation That Emancipated the Thinking-Self: As you saw earlier, while the protagonists during the Worldview-Wars Age thought they were fighting a battle between the “word of God” and the “laws” of science during the Science Revolution, we now realize that the underlying battle was over the worldview we should use (construct into our auto-self) to understand (and manage) the physical world. The science worldview prevailed, but because the combatants did not understand the internal mental process involved (or even suspect such a mental mechanism existed), this indirect worldview-reconstruction took more than two agonizing centuries. The Enlightenment Revolution followed an analogous path in that the visible battle was between whether God dictated human subservience to monarchs and clerics (as, for example, with the “chain of being” you saw earlier in this article) or whether humans could have significant freedoms to control their own destinies. However, the real internal battle was once again whether to use religious or secular processes, and this time in the service of managing human affairs. Therefore, the combined Science/Enlightenment Revolution reconstructed part of the religious worldview that had prevailed for a millennium into a secular problem-solving worldview. No wonder the process was so traumatic. Not only do worldviews (and certainty illusions) overwhelm our realities, when focused on supernatural objects, they do that on steroids.

 

From Emancipating the Thinking-Self by Transforming a Worldview to Emancipating Worldview Transformations*: Now that we understand our elusive and illusive human nature (our auto-self) much better with 2Selfs Theory, we can take one last look at similarities and difference between the Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution and the 2Selfs Revolution. These mental revolutions are similar in that they both center on worldview transformations that emancipate a part of our mind because the first one emancipated our thinking-self and the second one will emancipate our auto-self. Both of these West-wide mental revolutions also had (will have) profound, widespread, and enduring effects on our successes, well-being, and shared positive values. These two mental revolutions also have significant differences. The Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution was essentially a one-time event that indirectly reconstructed part of the prevailing religion worldview to become secular so that we could solve massive numbers of otherwise intractable problems using our newly empowered thinking-self capabilities. That mental revolution indirectly compartmentalized the spiritual aspects of religion and secular problem-solving for both the physical and mental worlds, so citizens could enjoy these very different types of benefits simultaneously. The 2Selfs Revolution, while it still necessarily means that worldview transformations will take center stage, will be different in (at least) three respects. First, the Science/‌Enlightenment Revolution transformed a top-level worldview indirectly. The 2Selfs Revolution must create its overarching transformation directly (because it is about the auto-self, which includes worldviews). Second, the Science/Enlightenment Revolution required a single overarching worldview transformation to secularize problem solving for the physical (science) and mental (enlightenment) worlds to emancipate our thinking-self, whereas the 2Selfs Revolution must create a new capability to periodically transform worldviews (and other forms of auto-contexts and types of auto-self characteristics). Third, the Science/Enlightenment Revolution had to overcome enormously powerful beliefs about supernatural control of the physical and mental worlds, while the 2Selfs Revolution must overcome immensely potent beliefs about our beliefs (auto-contexts) in general. That is, we must now muster the courage to face the fact that some of our deepest realities are “wrong” (i.e.,  they don’t correspond with the world outside of our minds), others are counterproductive to our success needs, and many are so dysfunctional that they are destroying our prosperity, well-being, and shared positive values. In summing up, I assume you are now well convinced that the internal, hidden, highly illusive mental mechanism that 2Selfs Theory models as auto-contexts plays an enormous role in the overall successes and setbacks of the West. We cannot resurrect the greatness of the West and achieve our desired progress (including systematic increases in standards of living) unless we can explicitly understand and directly manage (transform) the auto-self and in particular our auto-contexts.

Does this paragraph title make sense to you? If so, you probably have 2Selfs Worldview at least somewhat established within your auto-self because I don't think it is comprehensible from within the Flatland worldview foundation.

 

Who Achieves the Next Wave of Unfair Advantage? The West got out in front with its Science/Enlightenment Revolution, and because nobody understood the underlying worldview process, we were able to maintain an unfair advantage over the rest of the world for two centuries. With the 2Selfs Revolution, other countries and cultures will now understand the mental processes involved because I have revealed them here, in other articles at this website, and in my 2Selfs Revolution book. Therefore, although 2Selfs Theory was formulated in the West, that does not necessarily mean the West will get out in front this time to enjoy a new period of unfair advantage. China will likely be the major competitor to the West in the foreseeable future. As a tightly controlled and centrally directed nation, China has a distinct advantage over the West in terms of directing its transformation to 2Selfs Age. Most national governments in the West, which are too wrapped up in their manipulative shenanigans to realize how dysfunctional they have become, are unlikely to provide effective support for helping launch the 2Selfs Revolution that among other benefits will enable our political systems return to effectiveness. That is particularly true for the 800 pound gorilla in the West, the United States. However, China faces a potential peril if it chooses to direct its society to launch its 2Selfs Revolution because once its citizens learn to challenge their worldviews, many of them are likely to start clamoring for greater freedoms. China learned painfully that their centralized (socialist/communist) planned economy did not work effectively, so they have rapidly migrated toward an open-market economy, which unleashes passion to succeed and distributed management, and that is the underlying basis of their economic rise, even though they persist in pretending they are a “communist” government as a means to maintain a one-party system. Citizens of the West already enjoy great freedoms, so we have no downside in that regard as we launch our 2Selfs Revolution. However, as you have seen in many ways in this article, freedoms in the West are massively working against the viability of our governing systems because politicians have degenerated to employing so many technology-enabled manipulations that most voters are too vulnerable to resist them. Part of the 2Selfs Revolution benefits will create the new ability to construct greater voter responsibilities in the form of the ability to understand and manage our discomforts to avoid succumbing to simplistic solutions and to stay on the alert for anomalies that indicate politicians have constructed dysfunctional certainties within our auto-contexts. Besides overcoming the downside of our widespread freedoms, we can also now leverage the upside of our freedoms because just like for our market economies and innovations, our widespread freedoms will unleash the passion to succeed and distributed control that will now empower individuals, businesses, university departments, and other types of organizations to launch their own part of the 2Selfs Revolution. That should enable the West to move quickly to start managing automatic human activities to launch ourselves into 2Selfs Age.

 

Start Taking Actions! The 2Selfs Worldview transformation will be primarily a construction as opposed to a reconstruction process as the West suffered through with the Science Revolution, so it should not be as traumatic. Also, religions are only one of many social-systems segments impacted this time. The key action for auto-behaviors is to learn to recognize and deal with your discomforts to avoid falling repeatedly for externally imposed simplistic solutions and your own internally generated evasion gimmicks. For auto-contexts, start being sober about recognizing massive numbers of anomalies and accepting help from others when they challenge some of your basic assumptions. History will show that with 2Selfs Theory we finally cracked the code on automatic human activities including conquering the opaque elusiveness and dumbfounding illusiveness of auto-contexts, and that with use constructed a new problem-solving (2Selfs Worldview) foundation (and revealed what that means). We are privileged live on the cusp of an extremely rare positive culture-wide transformation – we are about to finally become adult problem solvers, so do your best to become a contributor, perhaps even a heroic leader, of this first explicit supraevolutionary ascent in the history of the human adventure!

© 2020 by 2Selfs, Inc..