The Internal Need For Noble Ideals

The Internal Need For Noble Ideals

In modern American culture, even the idea of noble ideals seems hopelessly old fashioned and out-of-date. Today, the world we live in is a consumers paradise, so our purposes are focused on consuming all we can get our hands on—material, physical, financial, and emotional. As a result, we anxiously try to get a good education, so we can create financial security, acquire a mate who provides pleasure and approval, and have children to give us a feeling of fulfillment and value. We also want entertainment to create stimulating distractions, so we rarely feel the pain of our internal emptiness.

What more could anyone want, or need? If curious, how could we identify what, if anything, is missing? We could imagine getting everything we want, then see ourselves becoming old, getting sick, and dying. Next, we could imagine a life of consuming—approval, sex, travel, food, friends, children, a mate (or two or three!), houses, cars, clothes and a career—and then ask: What does it mean? To ourselves, or other people? In the end, what have we understood, cared about, mastered, created, and contributed?

For nearly all of the hundreds of people I have spoken with over forty-plus years of counseling and teaching, the common answer to this question is that few people can identify a single internal need or potential they fully understood, or thoroughly mastered. Nor is it common for us to be creative in contributing enhancements to even external life. The sad result is our lives often have little or no meaning—to ourselves, or other people. If we don’t care about creating a meaningful life—then no problem!

Most people never consciously think about the topic of meaning, in spite of the fact that everyone suffers some degree of emptiness, anxiety, depression, or nagging pain from internal hungers that never go away. Instead, our hungers only become more intense as we age and forever fail to create the lasting satisfaction and genuine meaning that is a natural consequence of understanding and mastering our internal needs and potentials. A critical source for lasting satisfaction and genuine meaning are the four noble ideals, which if understood and mastered, lead us to feeding and fulfilling our internal and external needs and potentials. The four noble ideals are: expressing love, pursuing truth, experiencing and creating beauty, and developing wisdom.    

If we listen to our personal and cultural conversations it is soon obvious these ideals are nowhere to be found in modern minds and emotions. There are simply no files in our minds, and no place in our everyday conversations, to even bring up these topics. Not with our mates, children, friends or business associates do we discuss, define, or explore the four noble ideals that are necessary to make our lives meaningful.

 It is important to notice these four noble ideals are defined here not as concepts, but as activities that require objective information and specific skills to understand and master.  Most people just assume that love, truth, beauty and wisdom are defined by feelings or ideas that are subjective, and based on vague concepts or sentimental intentions that require no significant effort, time, energy, concentration, or the willingness to suffer.

The nearly universal assumption that love, truth, beauty and wisdom are subjective, and based on ideas and feelings, has made us internally ignorant, so we don’t even attempt to define love, truth, beauty or wisdom, much less understand and master the ability to express love, pursue truth, experience and create beauty, and develop wisdom.

One consequence is that we often believe love is defined by our impotent intentions, not competent behaviors—and that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We also believe wisdom is something that happens automatically with the passage of time and growing old. A sad result of these common beliefs is that love is rarely expressed, truth is rarely seen, and even more rarely agreed upon. Beauty is something we consume for pleasure, and wisdom is a flickering light we sometimes imagine exists on a far-distant shore, but something that we never understand or master, and as a result, we sail our ship through life moving in futile circles without a map or star to steer by.

CMED training thru books, videos, workshops, and individual sessions is necessary to acquire the objective definitions necessary to understand internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks, and acquire the specific skills necessary to master expressing love, pursuing truth, experiencing and creating beauty, and developing wisdom.

There are no shortcuts to internal, mental and emotional development, and it never happens automatically, even though people have sometimes taught themselves. What never has happened is for someone to experientially define love, truth, beauty and wisdom, as well as the precise path to understanding and mastering all four ideals. This brand new, observation-based, and precisely defined path can be learned, and then tested against everyday experience by anyone who wants to create a meaningful life.

While the information and skills provided by CMED training are objective and universal, the applications are open to a nearly infinite variety of unique, subjective, and creative expressions. Without knowing it, we have always wanted and needed a solid foundation of understanding and mastery upon which we can create a unique experience and expression of life that is authentic, original, satisfying, complete, and meaningful.

One Basic Purpose for Living: To Thoroughly Experience & Completely Understand The Mystery of Being Both Alive & Human

One Basic Purpose for Living:
To Thoroughly Experience & Completely Understand
The Mystery of Being Both Alive & Human

In spite of being largely unconscious, and usually based on assumptions, beliefs, feelings and ideas that we absorb from our social environment, everyone’s life is to some degree structured by purposes.  For the top 10 percent of our species, the purpose for living is to accomplish, acquire, and be recognized.  In other words, money, power, pleasure and fame are our primary motivators.  For the vast majority of us, however, we simply want to have enough accomplishment to acquire physical, financial, and emotional security.  As a result, our first purpose is to have a secure job, satisfying mate, a house and cars, and probably children.  Then, we want entertainment and friends.

At the lower end of the social/financial scale, we just want to live with some kind of decent and dignified survival and peace. Wherever on the scale we happen to be, there is no education or social awareness to show us that mastering the ability to thoroughly experience and completely understand human life is necessary to fulfill our potentials, feed our needs, complete our development, and create lasting happiness.

For all our technological advancements the development of self-awareness, and our understanding of the mystery of being both alive and human, is pitifully meager. This observation only means that it is now time, perhaps way past time, to learn about ourselves and life with the purpose of understanding the mystery of being alive and human.

It just so happens that I have spent a lifetime pursuing the answer to one question—”What, if anything, is necessary to make human life satisfying and meaningful?”  First understanding the question, then exploring life and the minds and experiences of other people has been necessary for me to discover that the invisible internal world of human experience is the source for layer upon layer of complex answers to my simple question.

 I first asked my question and defined my purpose at the age of five when my grandmother died. She was my favorite person, and really the only one who actually cared about and nurtured me. Even at the time, I could see my grandmother had had a very difficult life—married to a sphinx of a man with the tenderness of a stone—four children, all girls—hence one source of her interest in me—going thru World War I, the depression, then world War II, and finally, dying in 1950 at age 55 having experienced little joy and no fulfillment, seemed to my young mind an exercise in futility.

My response was to see that I too would go through a lifespan and die. Given my grandmother’s experience, this made me fervently wish I had never been born.

Since it was apparent that I was already alive and there was only one way out—much like being pregnant—I decided to make the most of it and spend my life figuring out precisely what would make this mystery of being alive worth effort and suffering, knowing in advance, the inevitable end to the story is my personal extinction!

In response, I spent my life gathering information about the mystery of being alive and human.  I have read endless biographies to learn how famous people chose to live.  I read literature, and studied the lives of writers.  I also studied music and musicians, painters, sculptors, actors, and other artists to see how artistic people chose to live.

Eventually, I studied scientists, naturalists, artists, businessman, politicians, soldiers, teachers, doctors, psychologists and lawyers, and anyone I met to learn how they responded to life and to what degree they were developed, fulfilled, and truly happy.  First with themselves, then with relationships, and finally, with their careers and professions. I discovered that people were more likely to be happy with their careers, than with themselves and their most important relationships.                                    

Ultimately, I could see that no matter how smart, successful, rich, or famous someone might be, no one knew how to thoroughly experience and completely understand the mystery of being alive. Most were honest and admitted that for them life began and ended a mystery, which meant in part, they never did understand their own internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks—or how to create emotionally bonded long-term intimate relationships that were satisfying, equal, and reciprocal.

This information helped me see that I needed to clearly define, “thoroughly experience” and “completely understand” in relation to first fulfilling ourselves, and then loving life and other people. In exploring the meaning of thoroughly experience, I learned that we needed to be innocent, curious, and grounded in accurate observations of reality—  rather than be disconnected by vague beliefs, assumptions, and feelings. I also saw we needed to gather the information provided by our senses, and we needed to learn about Nature, how to experience and express love, how to explore life and discover what is worth loving, and how to use every experience and insight to slowly develop wisdom.

During this process, I learned that experiencing love begins with innocence and curiosity, while expressing love requires learning and nurturing. Wisdom, I discovered, comes from using information gathered from our observations, and connections we make using reason and experiments to learn how life works until we completely understand and thoroughly master our internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks.

I have written down much of what I learned in the seven books currently available on my website, and use all of it in the individual sessions, videos and workshops that I offer. If this blog has awakened some innocent curiosity, consider exploring CMED.

Creating a Conscious Context Necessary For a Completely Fulfilled & Meaningful Life

Creating a Conscious Context Necessary
For a Completely Fulfilled & Meaningful Life

Everyone’s life is structured, and often limited by its context. By context, I mean we live with purposes and priorities that in normal life, are often unconscious. Generally, we limit ourselves to external purposes and priorities that are material, tangible, and physical. As a result, we typically pursue lives we hope will be safe, comfortable, pleasant, and somehow, without ever creating a single clear definition, fulfilling.

The primary problem with a normal context for human life is that we have no clear definitions or detailed understanding of a single internal need, potential, purpose, goal, or developmental task. In addition, even our ideas about external fulfillment are built on assumptions, beliefs, and feelings that we unconsciously adopt, rather than consciously explore and clearly understand. In stark contrast, a conscious context for everyday life is built on detailed definitions for both internal and external fulfillment and meaning.

In order to create detailed definitions, we need to learn how to concentrate on one topic at a time, then accurately observe the facts of everyday life, and finally, apply reason and experiment until we can clearly define and thoroughly understand our topic. This is the process necessary to think for understanding, which is the basis for creating the conscious context necessary for a completely fulfilled and meaningful life. Thinking for understanding is also necessary for taking the next step in our internal evolution.

The primary challenge of the 21st century is that the power of our technology has far outstripped the power of our understanding. The tragic consequence is that as a species, we have not developed either the love or the wisdom necessary to use technology to enhance everyone’s individual life, and protect the planet. Instead, we use technology to dominate and exploit both the planet and each other, with the inevitable consequence of destroying the quality of life for both ourselves, and our ailing planet.

To nurture the planet and fulfill ourselves, we must expand the context of human life to include the entire internal world of our mental and emotional needs, potentials, and developmental tasks that we have heretofore allowed to remain unexplored and undefined. We also need to clearly define the physical and material needs and potentials that are pre-requisites to fulfillment in the external world we are more familiar with, but still don’t really understand.

What everyone needs to see is that we normally think and talk relying on generalized conclusions, and never create clear and experiential definitions of our topic. Without clear definitions of every significant word and issue, understanding is impossible.         

Of course, without understanding we can never become loving and wise, or internally competent to create fulfillment, meaning, and lasting happiness.  As a species, we have learned that clear definitions are required to advance science and technology, but we still rely on vague feelings and beliefs, or generalized conclusions and assumptions when it comes to defining our internal development, level of consciousness, and the internal competence required to fulfill ourselves, and nurture other people and Nature.

Awakening a burning desire to master the complex task of thinking for understanding for the innocent purpose of learning how to become a source of love rather than a needy recipient changes the context of our entire life experience.  Now, we commit to becoming conscious, caring, and competent in the internal and external dimensions of human experience. A genuine understanding of the fact that learning how to think for understanding is an evolutionary step in human development is needed to awaken a burning desire, which is a pre-requisite for creating whole-hearted commitment.

Even in this short discussion, is it becoming evident that mental and emotional development is a step-by-step educational experience, not a simplistic one-step conclusion, or quick technique that will magically solve every problem and leave us happy ever after? If so, then your observation is accurate and follows common sense, because just like our advances in science and technology have grown over time fueled by the concentrated effort of many people, so the internal evolution of our species will require the same or even greater degree of concentration, time, and effort.

Time is of the essence. The problems and conflicts that plague every culture on the planet, along with the global changes in climate and ever-increasing demands on ever-decreasing resources means that we live in a world that is becoming ever more fragile and uncertain. At the moment, we just assume that technology will solve our problems. We fail to see that as a species, we lack the consciousness, caring, and internal competence to understand both ourselves and the issues with enough clarity and detail to see what is needed, agree on a plan of action, and then work together to create a conscious world capable of sustaining a quality life for all its inhabitants—human and animal.

We have already proven that technology alone will not save us, simply because fear, greed, and a lack of understanding motivate us to use technology to dominate and exploit rather than nurture and protect. This means our only real hope, individually and as a species, is to master the internal development that is our uniquely human, but heretofore, unfulfilled potential.

The education provided by CMED offers a detailed step-by-step process for first mastering thinking for understanding, and then the internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks required for the next step in our mental and emotional evolution.

Being The Source of Love Requires Objective Information & Specific Skills

Being The Source of Love Requires
Objective Information & Specific Skills

After we decide to be the source rather than the recipient of love, we need to acquire the internal development—objective information and specific skills—necessary to pull it off!  In normal life, we assume love is a feeling, and because we have feelings we call love, we also assume we can become a source of love with no training, objective information, or specific skills required.  A hopeful normal sentiment, but quite inaccurate.

One reason it is rare to see a mutually satisfying expression of real love in everyday life and relationships is because of the degree of focused effort, specialized training, objective information and specific skills that love requires.  We all want love to be easier and require less effort than it demands.  Our fantasy is that love and happiness should be like ripe berries growing wild, so without cost or effort, we can just help ourselves!

The reality is that life, love, and lasting happiness are all complex, and to an untrained mind and emotions are as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Looking at a rainbow it seems at first glance it should be easy to find the end of it, and so, the pot of gold.  If you ever chase a rainbow, however, you will soon discover that the more you pursue it, the more the rainbow recedes into the distance, so the pot of gold (love and happiness), remains forever beyond your grasp.

Choosing to be the source, rather than the needy recipient of love is the first step toward internal development.  The next step is to observe that you need to give effort and get training, information, and skill.  Until you arrive at understanding both realities—one, you need to be a source of love—not a needy recipient—and two, this requires effort, information, and skill, you can never understand and master the full experience and innocent expression of real love.  Now, it is time to get to work, and truly learn.

What do we need to understand?  We need to first understand our own perspectives, and then the perspectives of the people close to us.  We also need to understand and master internal needs—our own first, and then learn how to feed the internal hungers of the people close to us.  These two categories—perspectives and internal needs—require both objective information and specific skills to first understand, and then master.

In normal life, there is no education for defining perspectives, or understanding internal needs, so the information and skill you will learn is new, and may feel difficult, or alien.  Never-mind how it feels; instead, just observe your experience to determine if the information seems to contain a common-sense level of truth, and if the skills actually work to enhance understanding, satisfaction, and meaning in everyday interactions.

Each person’s perspective can be defined in terms of six categories: motivations, purposes, needs, wants, choices and behaviors. To understand ourselves and another person requires that we accurately observe the specific details that define both ourselves and another person in each of the six categories.  Of course, for most people this is an impossible task because they cannot define the six categories of perspective, and have never been taught how to accurately observe life, themselves, and other people.

Instead of learning how to accurately observe, a normal education (cultural and formal), teaches us to draw conclusions and make judgments, which we often use to evaluate our own, or another person’s value.  Understanding for the purpose of nurturing is not something we normally pursue.  Nor is it something we normally have the information, skill, or training to pursue, even if we wanted to.

The most significant and universal internal need everyone experiences is the hunger to be seen, understood, and valued.  To experience and express real love—first for ourselves and life, and then for our mate, children, friends and strangers—requires we learn how to accurately observe for the innocent purpose of understanding and nurturing.

CMED training provides the detailed definitions for understanding perspectives and internal needs, as well as specific instruction in how to concentrate, accurately observe ourselves, life, and other people, and put it all together to understand and nurture.

All the critical information is available in my books and videos, as well as offered thru individual sessions and workshops. Internal development is complex, but CMED training is based on accurate observations and reason-based cause and effect connections that anyone can learn, and then verify through personal experience.

Life’s Most Critical Choice—Whether To be a Recipient—Or the Source of Love

Life’s Most Critical Choice:
To be a Recipient—Or the Source of Love

A common and invisible tragedy is that our most critical choice is usually unconscious.  This critical and primal choice is whether to be a recipient of love, or the source of love.  Most people never consciously think about love.  Instead, we just assume that love is defined by how we feel, and since we have feelings we call love, in our minds this means we are loving.

The normal process, where we assume we understand love when in fact, we have never actually thought-about it, is one reason that we humans have made little progress in learning how to define, experience, or express love in our daily lives.  Instead, we relentlessly pursue being the recipients of love, without ever clearly defining precisely what it is we are so avidly trying to get from life, animals, and other people.

The problem begins when as children our parents do not understand internal needs.  This means that no matter how well our parents feed our external needs for food, clothing, shelter, etc., our internal needs for acknowledgment and understanding are rarely fed.  We are also rarely taught how to create self-worth and emotional safety, or how to define and master our internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks, so in normal life, we learn nothing about internal development.

Growing-up without internal education or nurturing, we are mentally and emotionally starved for warmth and acknowledgment, and to be seen, understood and valued—or in other words—to be internally fed and fully loved.  With this hunger driving our choices, most people try to be the recipient of love, and never know there is a choice.

What makes this tragic is that we often spend our lives searching for fulfillments we cannot define, and do not understand.  As a result, we often choose a career for security, financial reward, approval or self-image, and never understand our need for work that provides challenge, internal growth and fulfillment, and permanent meaning.

We also often choose a mate to compensate for our inability to make ourselves happy.  This places a heavy and often impossible burden on a romantic relationship because we expect our mate to nurture us when we have not learned how to nurture ourselves, or our mate.  As a result, we cannot give what we want to receive, and conflict is inevitable.

Have you noticed how rarely couples create and maintain long-term intimacy based on a genuine emotional bond?  Did you ever think about this fact with the purpose of first defining the negative of what is missing—and next, the positive of what is needed, and finally, how to master the skills necessary to feed the needs?

With the normal choice to be a recipient of love, we have no use for understanding.  We simply cannot see the reward for all the work necessary to understand.  Instead, we want simple answers and quick fixes that will create immediate good feelings, and relief from the pain caused by a lifetime of unfed internal needs.

While we all want to feel good, we need the understanding necessary to first nurture and fulfill ourselves, and then our mates, children, and friends.  The critical prerequisite for finally growing-up and wanting internal development is to change our choice—so we want to master the information, skills, and consciousness necessary to become the source of love.

Once we consciously want to be a source of love, then we will immediately see that a genuine experience and expression of real love requires that we understand and master internal and external needs, potentials, and developmental tasks.  For the first time, we experience a whole-hearted desire to be an emotionally independent adult, competent to nurture ourselves and other people—mentally and emotionally (internally)—as well as physically and materially (externally).

Understanding and mastery require the objective information, specific skills, conscious purposes, and mindful awareness that CMED training provides.  With CMED training people learn how to nurture and fulfill themselves, as well as their mates, children and friends.  Internal development is the artesian source for fulfilling our uniquely human potentials, and taking the critically needed next step up our own evolutionary ladder.

Without this evolutionary step, the demands, problems, conflicts, and responsibilities of modern life will remain beyond our developmental capacity to understand or resolve.  This means that to create happiness for ourselves and our loved ones, and to preserve Nature and the integrity of Planet Earth, we must become sources of love, and in the process must master all our internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks.

Gateway to Mental & Emotional Development

Gateway to Mental & Emotional Development

Seven New Blogs
October-November 2015

1 – Understand Internal Vs. External Life—Then Master Both!

2 – How One Sentence Can Change Not Only Every Individual Life: But the Whole World!

3 – Self-Worth—The Critical Key to All Real Learning, Romantic Intimacy, Internal Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness

4 – Applying the Definition of Real Love to Everyday Life

5 – The Need for Real Love in Long-term Romantic Relationships

6 – Contrasting Licensed Psychotherapy & Unlicensed Coaching With Education In Mental & Emotional Development

7 – The Conscious Purpose & Thought Process Necessary to Understand Ourselves, Life, and Other People


Understand Internal Vs. External Life – Then Master Both!

Understand Internal Vs. External Life – Then Master Both!

As much as we try to ignore, deny, explain or distract away from it, being alive is an unsolvable mystery that is sometimes cruel, sometimes inspiring and joyful, and often frightening.  The mystery that most affects human beings is the fact that unlike other animals we have the potential to develop self-awareness, and with it the ability to understand significant portions of ourselves, other people, life and Nature.

Fulfilling our human potential to be self-aware, and to work toward understanding life’s mysteries, is the beginning of an internal life.  However, if we do not fulfill these potentials, then we either fail to develop an internal life, or we are so superficial that we create more disappointment than inspiration, joy, love and wisdom.

A complete internal life is the result of mastering our mental and emotional, or internal needs and potentials.  Internal needs are defined by our universal need for self-worth, purpose, meaning, intimacy, beauty, wisdom, etc.  Internal potentials are defined by our uniquely human potential to understand, care, master, create and contribute.

By contrast, external life is defined by every need and potential outside our minds and emotions—like our external need for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc., or our potential to be physically healthy, professionally successful, financially secure, etc.

In normal life, we merge internal with external needs and wants, as well as potentials, so rather than create clear definitions and a detailed understanding of ourselves, life and other people, we create a confusing chaos of feelings, beliefs, and vague notions.

The lack of clearly defining internal vs. external life is the major reason human beings have failed to evolve mentally and emotionally.  As a result, we still fail to understand internal experiences: like how to create intimacy in long-term romantic relationships, or how to parent children so they grow-up not just able to make a living, but also develop a complete self-worth, can understand themselves, life and other people, and have the skills and awareness necessary to create internal fulfillment and lasting happiness.

Instead of evolving, after almost two hundred thousand years of human existence on planet Earth, we still cannot live in harmony with Nature, or each other.  We are still motivated by fear and greed, resolve conflicts with violence, exploit the weak, and as a species, prefer to distract with drugs, alcohol and mindless entertainments, rather than learn how to create intensely satisfying and truly meaningful internal and external lives.

If we look at the world through the eyes of an all-powerful Creator, we could imagine how He might feel disappointed in homo sapiens and be inclined to wipe the slate clean (eliminate the species), consider it a failed experiment, and then try again learning from His initial mistakes!  Even if the Creator lets us live, we may still drive ourselves extinct from a failure to master our internal needs and potentials.

Should we want to not just survive, but also fulfill our potentials motivated by a desire to flourish on a planet we are internally competent to make healthy and beautiful—or perhaps, just want to live out our lives internally fulfilled, then we need to concretely define internal vs. external life, needs and wants, feelings and facts, reality and fantasy, and every human potential.

Evolution in science has come about because we have systematically defined layer upon layer of observable facts and experiences in our everyday lives.  Prior to the scientific method, however, our progress in understanding Nature was glacially slow.

After the scientific method was adopted, our external progress has been phenomenal—but our internal development has not kept pace.  Now, we need to adopt the scientific method to study not just Nature, but ourselves, so we can first learn how to learn, and then master every internal and external need, potential, and developmental task. 

It has been my life’s work to lay the foundation necessary to understand ourselves, life, and each other for the innocent purpose of creating satisfying and meaningful lives, internally bonded relationships, and an evolving world where everyone learns to express love, pursue truth, experience and create beauty, and develop wisdom.

How One Sentence Can Change Not Only Every Individual Life: But the Whole World!

How One Sentence Can Change
Not Only Every Individual Life:
But the Whole World!

The one sentence critical to each person’s individual internal development and lasting happiness is an objective and experience-based definition of the word LOVE.

Real Love is giving energy, interest and attention for the innocent purpose of first understanding, and then nurturing all that we love.

There are six dimensions of complex life experiences identified in this one sentence.

The first dimension is Giving.
Most people do not understand how to give internal experiences like energy, interest and attention.

Normally, we want to get external things like security, sex, money, and pleasantly stimulating or exciting and pleasurable experiences.  We also want to just “feel good” about ourselves, and usually assume that if we get everything we want we will be happy, but then fail to observe people who have everything, and yet never seem to get enough, and always want more.

The problem with getting what we want is that we are focused on external gratifications, while what we need are internal fulfillments—like the competence to understand and nurture, and the ability to pursue truth, experience beauty, and develop wisdom.  Even after a lifetime of getting everything we want, there is always an emptiness inside that pathetically wonders, “Is this all there is?”

By contrast, after a lifetime of giving interest, energy and attention, we are filled-up with conscious and meaningful experiences that have taught, touched and changed us.  In the process, we have made ourselves internally complete by mastering the ability to express love, pursue truth, experience beauty and develop wisdom.

Now, at the end of our lifespan we are fulfilled, and while we may leave life reluctantly, we are at peace knowing we have lived as fully and completely as humanly possible.

The second dimension is giving Energy, Interest and Attention.
In normal life we are so busy getting approval, security, success, pleasure and distraction, we never possess a drop of understanding, love, or wisdom. Often, we are not even aware of our own experience.

We must learn how to give energy, interest, and attention to just be aware of our own experience—which is defined in part by the facts of each moment, what the facts mean, how we respond, and the consequences we create.

One reward for giving energy, interest and attention is that we come to understand ourselves, life, and other people.  We also learn how to absorb every part of the mysterious experience of just being alive, and become competent to nurture all that we love.

The third and fourth dimensions are defined by “Innocent” and “Purpose.
Modern life is often so manipulative and outcome oriented that most people do not think “innocence” still exists.  It is also true that innocence has never been popular with human beings, and in today’s internet and business dominated world, innocence has all but disappeared.

Nonetheless, we all need to give energy, interest and attention delivered with an innocent purpose, which means that we give freely, with no outcome in mind, and no expectation of reciprocity.  This means we offer a real, no strings attached, genuine gift.

In addition to being innocent, we all need to give energy, interest and attention that is purposeful—only our purpose needs to be defined by an innocent desire to understand.

What are selfish reasons for giving energy, interest and attention for the innocent purpose of wanting to understand?  For one, in mastering these basic skills we learn how to feed all real needs: and two, we fulfill our uniquely human potentials to Understand, Care, Master, Create and Contribute.

Another lasting reward for giving energy, interest and attention is that we develop a deep consciousness, caring, and internal competence we get to keep inside ourselves forever.

There is little more pathetic and sad than passing through an entire lifetime and never develop even a small portion of love and wisdom—consciousness and caring.

The fifth dimension is Understanding.
We often confuse understanding with explanations, judgments, conclusions, beliefs, ideas, or feelings.

Real understanding requires that we focus on one topic, observe facts, ask intelligent questions, and develop a desire to see what is true–no matter how painful: like when the truth contradicts our beliefs and feelings, or adds extra tasks and responsibilities we need to acknowledge and accept.

Understanding by itself is useless unless we use it to nurture ourselves, other people, and Nature.  Insight without application is always just an impotent intention that serves only to frustrate, never nurture.

The sixth dimension is Nurturing.
Nurturing requires that we first understand internal needs, potentials and developmental tasks.  Only after we acquire a detailed understanding can we competently nurture ourselves, the people around us, and Nature.

Nurturing, which begins with giving energy, interest and attention, must always be a gift, we can never expect to get anything back or it ceases to be nurturing, and instead, becomes a quid pro quo business deal—no longer satisfying for anyone.

The seventh dimension is putting it all together in one seamless expression of real love!

Self-Worth—The Critical Key to All Real Learning, Romantic Intimacy, Internal Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness

Self-Worth—The Critical Key to All Real Learning,
Romantic Intimacy, Internal Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness

When we develop self-worth, we want to understand the mystery of being alive, other people, and Nature.  With a complete self-worth, we also whole-heartedly care-about our own lives, the life in other people, and all the life expressed everywhere in Nature.

In stark contrast, when our self-worth is incomplete, as it is with nearly everyone, then we care about how we feel and what we want, and we see little reward in understanding.  Instead, our minds focus on manipulating outcomes with specific rewards in mind—like getting approval, security, success and entertainment.  The value of these rewards is recognized by everyone, so we pursue them without question, hesitation, or thought.

One consequence of an incomplete self-worth is that we become terminally self-absorbed, but fail to develop self-awareness.  As a result of being self-absorbed, we fail to learn how to learn, and this in turn leads to being developmentally incapable of creating romantic intimacy with a mate, or internal fulfillment and lasting happiness for ourselves.

Perhaps surprisingly, a lack of self-worth is the bedrock source for everyone’s lifetime issues with romantic intimacy, competent parenting, clear thinking, whole-hearted caring, and mastering the ability to live, learn, and love for the innocent purpose of creating internal fulfillment and lasting happiness.

This last insight is astonishingly significant because it pinpoints the reason so many smart and well-intentioned people do their very best, and still fail, often for a lifetime, to create emotionally bonded romantic relationships and internally satisfying and genuinely meaningful personal lives.

Another common tragedy is that adults who have not completed their own self-worth are developmentally incapable of creating self-worth in their children.  Most parents do their best, but are pre-destined to pass on to their children their own lack of self-worth and failure to understand life, love, intimate relationships, and internal fulfillment.

All self-worth is built on becoming competent to feed needs and fulfill potentials.  For our value to be complete, we must master external and internal needs and potentials.

We normally recognize external needs—like the need for food, clothing, shelter, money and transportation.  We also understand external potentials for education, professional development, sports, hobbies and recreation.  In normal life, the only path to self-worth is to become competent to feed and fulfill our external needs and potentials.

This means few people ever learn to feed and fulfill their internal needs and potentials.  As a result, few people ever develop a complete self-worth.  Instead, we try to control our external needs and potentials, and remain forever clueless about all things internal.

Learning how to learn, understand, nurture, and love are internal activities, so if we fail to master our internal needs and potentials, then we will also be inadequate to fulfill our internal responsibilities as a person, parent, mate and friend.

If our self-worth becomes complete, we want to confront every inadequacy, and we want to master the necessary skills and awareness.  However, when our self-worth is incomplete, we fear our inadequacies and try to hide them, because any imperfection feels like proof we have no value, which most of us consider too painful to bear.

In relationships with a mate, parent, friend or child, our fear of inadequacy results in being defensive or argumentative, and generally refusing to understand any criticism. This hypersensitivity results in failing to learn about ourselves, life, and other people—in part, because we cannot acknowledge the critical information.

For instance, most males have zero awareness of internal needs, so when a woman wants a personal experience—like conversation, emotional warmth, genuine interest or a conscious touch, the male has no clue as to what she needs, but rather than admit his ignorance, ask questions and learn, he will respond with criticism, or by withdrawing.  When the circumstances are turned around—females are just as likely to be defensive.

The universal hypersensitivity to criticism, and the inability to learn is the primary reason most people never create long-term intimacy with another person, or internal fulfillment and lasting happiness for themselves.  This is the dark side of the American Dream—that is, the other side of being successful at getting every external thing we want—is the tragedy of missing every internal thing we need!

All too often, the American Dream turns into a Nightmare.  First, we fall in love, only to become disappointed and unhappy.  Then we produce children who grow up without self-worth, and developmentally incapable of emotional bonding.  Finally, we try again with someone else, and still, we never become internally fulfilled or truly happy.

Resolving the Nightmare side of the American Dream requires we develop self-worth, so we can first understand and then nurture ourselves, other people, and Nature.  When we commit to developing self-worth, in part, because we see for ourselves the inevitable internal rewards, then we want to make the effort necessary to learn, grow, and change.

This is a crucial first step, but on its own still leaves us ignorant and inadequate.  We must also acquire the information necessary to become self-aware and internally developed—competent to feed and fulfill all our external and internal needs and potentials.


Applying the Definition of Love to Everyday Life

Applying the Definition of Love to Everyday Life

There is an ancient piece of wisdom that says: “If we fully understand one thing, we can understand everything.”  I would like to re-state this wisdom in the negative to offer a contrast, in the hope of making the meaning even more clear.  So I would add:  “If we fail to fully understand one internal need, potential or developmental task—then we will never understand a single significant thing about internal human life.”

The fate of most people is to move through an entire lifespan and never understand even one internal dimension of human life.  Instead, people float thru existence relying on vaguely defined good intentions and fragile feelings trying to get success, security, approval and entertainment, and never understand one internally significant thing about life, themselves, or other people.

This is one reason that real love and genuine wisdom are so rare.  It is also why in a previous blog, I defined love in objective and experiential terms: that is, it was my purpose to create a working definition necessary to explore the experience of real love. 

Previously, I defined Real Love as giving energy, interest and attention for the innocent purpose of first understanding, and then nurturing all that we love.

It is not my intent to hold myself out as an authority on love.  All I have done is to observe and ask questions with the innocent purpose of wanting to understand whether or not there are universal human needs that make it possible to define love in clearly objective and experiential terms everyone can understand and apply. 

What I have found is that most people agree that if someone gave them energy, interest, and attention motivated by an innocent purpose to understand and nurture, then they would confirm this as a bona fide experience of real LoveHow about you, if someone consistently offered you energy, interest and attention, with an innocent purpose to understand and nurture, would you feel loved?

If we accept that while not perfect, my description of love does provide a working definition that we can use to explore experience, then we can move on and define the experience of understanding.

The two most significant internal potentials, and critical to fulfilling all other human potentials, is the capacity to Understand and Love.  Of the two, Understanding is the most important, simply because without Understanding, Love can’t exist.  I can almost hear the howls of indignation objecting to this last sentence. 

For most people, love is assumed to be based on feelings, while understanding can be viewed as an empty explanation or simplistic conclusion with no emotional warmth or real-world effectiveness.

Also, sacred beliefs are often challenged when we discover that real love requires enough internal development to give our whole-hearted energy, interest and attention with an innocent purpose to understand and nurture. Without understanding we cannot nurture, and as a result, cannot love.

True understanding requires we build a detailed mental, emotional and sensual picture of reality, ourselves, and other people that we use to feed needs—internal and external—first in ourselves, then other people and Nature.  

All understanding begins with learning how to accurately observe and vulnerably receive the information ordinary life is always offering.  So to understand my definition of love, we must paint a complete picture of six dimensions of ordinary experience. (See the blog titled: How One Sentence Can Change Not Only Every Individual Life—But  the Whole World!

One way to learn about love is to memorize my definition, study the six dimensions of experience contained in that one sentence, and then measure to what extent you can accurately observe and clearly define your own experience with love

I put the last sentence in bold italics because it serves to also describe the process for learning how to learn.  One thing I discovered from a lifetime of observing people is that our education does not teach us the process for how to learn.  Instead, even the best education primarily teaches us how to memorize and regurgitate external facts or ideas that reveal nothing about our internal needs and potentials, or developmental tasks.  

Even in science, when we want understanding our purpose is often to exploit to acquire advantage or entertainment, rather than feed real needs.   Essentially, we adopt the same purposes for learning—as we do for living and loving.

Learning how to learn is required if we want to master internal needs, potentials and developmental tasks, beginning with our internal potential to understand and love. Learning how to learn is required not only for our individual happiness, but also for the internal evolution now essential to the survival of our species.

It is not often that we have an opportunity to work on our own individual happiness, and at the same time make a contribution to the evolution and long-term survival of the human species. Becoming competent to understand and love offers a rare opportunity to combine selfish personal fulfillment with a meaningful and loving gift.  This is the best life has to offer—it would be a tragic shame to let it pass you by!