~ Open Source Mysticism
A Fully Inclusive Consciousness Model
Notes on Amy Chua's Book "Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--And Why They Fall"

Amy Chua is a Yale University Professor of Law.  Her most recent book is readable and fascinating.  As well, its underpinnings conveniently serve as a potent illustration of the "broadly inclusive" tenets in Open Mystic.  Here's a one hour MP3 you can download from the World Affairs Council on whose behalf she spoke November 15, 2007.  This will whet your appetite to buy the book but also provides background for our brief discussion here.

While Open Mystic essays propose a personal life approach of broadest possible inclusion, "Day of Empire" shows with numerous historical examples up to the present, that the most successful powers of a day drew their strength from inclusion and tolerance.  In other words, the book provides macro world examples which may have an analog in the micro world of the individual.  That resonant coherence is attractive and elegant for our purposes.  We are always on the lookout for instructive, demonstrative analogies.  In other words, it makes sense to look at larger examples and then scale the principles to one's personal life.  In the extreme example, Open Mystic repeatedly proposes an infinite meta-form (often labeled "God") that is infinitely inclusive and everywhere present.  If/Given that's the case, then a logical - and spiritual - life strategy is simply to imitate "God" and struggle to become as broadly inclusive as humanly possible at a single person level, i.e., the Renaissance person model.

The essential issue in both these macro and micro worlds is that fragmentation must be avoided.  In the macro world "empire" examples, every one present must buy into the diversity notion and participate thusly and fully.  At the individual micro level, newly acquired knowledge and skills must be integrated with the existing knowledge sets, principally by looking for underlying pattern commonalities. Specifically, these questions should be asked in all cases: "How does the new knowledge relate to my existing knowledge?" "What are the common elements?".  A search for commonality transforms mere learning into a spiritual exercise.

The significant difference between the macro - large society - and micro - intrapersonal - levels above is that the pluralistic society depends on each individual pursuing their own self-interests.  The diversity theoretically comes with large population numbers. The micro application of the principle of maximal inclusion demands that a person actively integrate all diverse knowledge and skills within themselves. The term for this is commonly "Renaissance person" or polymath. In the Open Mystic rubric, this is an ideal cognitive model.

There are many issues at all levels.  At the individual level and as well the macro world politic level, there may be practical limits to diversity, tolerance, and inclusion.  At the personal level, the limit is sanity - managing a broad range of knowledge and ideas.  The human mind is set up naturally to exclude "data inputs" in order to remain stable, and Open Mystic proposes that this trait should be fought off by those on an autodidactic spiritual search.  And really, local cultural and religious mores never promote such personal broadness. In modern Western societies, that's likely because it may not be easy to monetize.  Also, increasingly complex societies depend heavily on specialists, and that is also a conflict.

Unfortunately, it has been sad to conclude in this light that tribally based traditional societies may be naturally doomed.  American Indians with their tribal divisions didn't stand a chance against the onslaught of a more unified culture as it happened, often with a heart rending violence.  I am not an expert in the field, and the point is extremely arguable, but societies that are spiritually and socially exclusionary may not ever be able to compete with cultures and societies that are more unified, coherent, and diverse.  The dominant Euro-American culture has numerous flaws and blind spots, but the politically incorrect notion has come to mind as a point of exploration.

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Page 51 - Your comments are welcome.

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