What follows is a direct quote from Dr Deon Van Wyk in contribution to a discussion on 'Where To Begin' had on the 21st Century Network's LinkedIn group. I have chosen this because it illuminates well some concepts that are critical to our system (as I interpret it), namely that we need to pursue our fulfilment (without harm), that we all lead in this, and that there are too many controls in our system conflicting with this purpose (so we need to rid ourselves of them).
"Personal mastery, a subset of systems theory, is about continous personal improvement for the duration of an individual life. This can mean many things to many people of course, so what I'm after here is the underlying philosophy; why we would want to pursue personal mastery, as opposed to how or with what. It has an ongoing nature and is set in a context of other people and systems; we are responsible, we are in charge. Always looking for ways to grow, new things to learn, interesting people to meet. We speak of learning to learn. We also learn to expand our world and our self-knowledge. A way of life which stresses growth and satisfaction in a personal and professional sense; not just work as activity that produces a pay-check for example. It really boils down to being the best possible version of yourself.
"Far from being some utopian pie-in-the-sky, there is ample evidence that this phenomenon is growing at exponential rates around the world. This happens for as many reasons as there are individuals; the point being that the human race is on a quest of self-discovery. It seems timely to consider that; this cannot only be because of environmental degradation, institutional failure, resource deprivation, political corruption etc. We also have to acknowledge that, humans naturally extrapolate into unknown territory from their present environment and circumstances; with the inevitable result that mined out ideas and beliefs can persist for a while. We just have to look at the present tussle between quantum science and religion for that.
"Most people now accept that individual actions have potentially fatal outcomes for our race at large; and yet, we are encumbered by failing leadership and systems. The debacle of the climate conference in Copenhagen being a case in point. My hope is that, this time round we will focus on our limitless abilities to evolve spiritually; as opposed to exercising our desires for greed, comfort, celebrity, control, violence... distracted like so many children in a toy store. The realization [by now] is that, we, the people; have to do it by ourselves and for ourselves. And that literally means we will have to tap our personal resources as humans.
"That we are still exhorted to embrace ideas developed by the consciousness of a bygone age, and adapt ourselves to it, is anathema to me. Personal mastery dictates that we are now being challenged to lead ourselves; without centralized control, ideology, profit motive, dogma and so on. The really interesting aspect of this growing awareness is how decentralized it operates; the antithesis of large scale system design we've become trapped by in consecutive ages of industrialization, colonialism and globalization. We are on the cusp of a massive leap in consciousness, we just have to give ourselves permission to make it; instead of looking around for some authority figure's ok.
"So, dare we contemplate a future where we will function without systemic control? Can society evolve to a common ethical level and release the massive potential already encoded in our consciousness? Inner contemplation and self actualization will have us truly beginning from a new perspective... and not just the perpetuation of the current self disdaining inertia in relation to previous history."
Dr Deon Van Wyk (http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers)