Preview

Chapter 2 – About The Global Resource- and Presence Management System 2012

Introduction: we are living in the ‘dark-ages’

If you are reading this, you are probably part of the happy billions that are doing exceptionally well in life, standing at the top of the materialistic ladder. Our ancestors would probably look at our lifestyle with amazement. But in essence we still behave the same: we spend our lives striving for more, bigger, larger and further. Only they were doing it in a struggle to survive. And this is still the same world, our world; and we will all suffer if it collapses.

We are living in strange times, alienating times, ego-times. We do ‘good’, only when it is to our own financial benefit. Making love has been replaced with porn. Western society makes the world run out of resources, see:

And our response to long-term warnings is an unsustainable one. No matter who we are: right- or left wing politicians in Europe, Christians or Muslims, Republicans or Democrats, Portuguese or British, for the short term we can afford to ignore this stress.

But everyone knows, humanity is, once again, preparing for the grand finale. We have grown too accustomed to our prosperity even though we know it was founded on huge loans and the depletion of Earth’s resources. We suffer from cognitive dissonance, inequality and the tragedy of the commons.

Is our conscience damaged beyond repair? Are we like lemmings at the edge of the cliff? Or is there hope? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Do we have a solution? Yes we do!

We are in ‘extra time’ but we have a new strategy, a new story based on science!

Sthiel.com

‘Sthiel’ is the name of a non-pretentious new global story, which is about the creation of more sustainable egos. Despite the risk that labelling this story will create stress or disturb people’s egos, it had to be given a name. Otherwise, how else would it be possible to gather ideas on how to create more sustainable human egos, via the Internet? See: Sthiel – Sustainable-IDs.

One of the ideas collected via The Sthiel website, was the following: a Global Resource-and Presence Management System (GRPMS).

With the GRPMS, differences are no longer a matter of personal opinion, a feeling or influenced by money. Good and bad will no longer be based on politics, ideology, religion or the biggest ego. Decisions will be based on scientific and objective reasoning based on available Resources and Presence.

With Resources is meant: ‘stuff’ or ‘assets’ that can be found both on, as well as in the Earth. In this book resources can also mean: mental energy on the level of an individual brain.

But what is Presence?

Presence

Presence enables the objective measurement of happiness. This measurement is based on cognitive activity (or absence) in the resting brain over time. Presence is considered high – and the person therefore happy – if a person is immersed in ‘doing’ activities for long periods of time alternated by frequent, short moments of reflection.

This way the mental models (identity) in the brain and the environment and physical body – will always reach an optimal fit. During a period of high Presence, the individual reflects and might decide that maybe his mental model, the environment or body need an adjustment. (See: What is Presence?)

So Presence is a measurement on an axis. On the one end we find Low Interactivity and on the other end High Interactivity. Presence is an expression of the Flow between these two ends over time. Presence is Low if a persons brain is in the:

  • Low Interaction State for a long consecutive period of time
  • High Interaction State for a long consecutive period of time

E.g.: If some Mental Models that form a person’s identity are overloaded and there is no reflection going, on a regular basis, this leads to what we call: egos.

Ego in turn, results in limitless use of resources and all the crises society currently faces, including famines in Africa. On an individual level, ego causes unexplainable physical pains, depression, addictions (alcohol, sex, drugs, sports, etc), burnout, stress, etc.

Lets put a step back and explain: Ego, Identity, Consciousness

Unsustainable identity building causes resource depletion, both from the person as well as the Earth itself. People do not approve of this behaviour and call it ‘ego’.

Seen from a cognitive perspective, ego can be defined as: a certain part of a person’s identity or personality got overemphasized, like a certain trick (making money), talent (playing tennis), hobby (surfing) or job. Overusing such a certain set of mental models is called identity building without Presence and results in an ego.

Identity can be defined as the total amount of mental models in the brain that are the result of interaction of the organism with the environment and its own body. In that sense, a person IS ‘his body’, ‘his ability to ride a bike’, ‘his illness’, ‘his religion’, ‘his football factory’, ‘his language’, ‘his German car in China’, ‘his dialect’ AND ‘his country’, etc. (See: The consciousness explained, by Daniel Dennett.)

The Mental Models are defined as configurations of neurons, fine-tuned by nurture and partly existing in the brain from birth. This is sometimes called talent. Mental Models can be made visible using fMRI scans. Mental Model creation is not something a human is aware of or thinks about. It is a human instinct as it is essential for our survival to know how our physical body including our brain – ‘the self’ – and the world around – ‘the non-self’– work.

Consciousness (or meta-knowledge) can be defined as the most complex mental model. It is a meta-mental model that the brain constructs by connecting all other mental models. This can be substantiated by the scientific cognitive knowledge that the development of this layer (pre-frontal cortex, see: Youngworks) is first visible when a human recognizes himself in a mirror, finishes never but reaches its peak at the age of 25(!).

It is therefore possible for all brains to have a consciousness. Thus not only people have a consciousness, but also some species of animals. This depends on the complexity of the hardware of a brain. That is why it is thought earthworms have no consciousness, the dolphin and chimp have little consciousness, and mankind possesses the highest form of consciousness we know of.

In other words, the result of a person’s survival instinct is his identity and knowledge of his identity is his consciousness. Identity building and reflecting on it helps humans to survive on Earth with the least amount of mental and physical energy.

As identity creation is basically a matter of instinct, it can grow limitlessly like a dog that doesn’t know when to stop running.

Is also means that without a good identity the organism dies, which means that the more mental models describe the world correctly, the higher the chances of survival. If the environment changes, the current systems in the world need revision and human identities need revision. Thus the resource depletion on Earth directly affects every human being’s identity. At least it should.

  • If the mental models of the human being are wrong, the organism will die because of a lack of resources.
  • If the human being fights with other humans to uphold the existing (faulty) mental models, it will die too.

And who likes that?

This means that, partly driven by conscious knowledge and partly instinctively, changing your surroundings to fit wrong mental models helps survival. Hence come religion, marketers and dictators. Nowadays people even adjust their bodies (cosmetic surgery/medicine/drugs) to be able to continue using the same mental models over and over again.

Also, developing more mental models according to same rules, whether people are conscious of them or following them instinctively, helps survival. Religion and money are excellent in manipulating the creation of more of the same mental models. Hence: greed. Nowadays most of the Western people shape their identity with money. (See: Affluenza, Dus ik ben.)

So what is good identity building and what makes it bad? That is where the term Presence or Flow comes into play.

Presence revisited

As said before, Presence can be defined using an axis, which expresses the level of interaction with the environment and/or body.

On the one hand we find low interactivity with the environment and/or body. That is the state of mind during which a person reports that he is not engaged in the interaction with the environment or body. Also called: unhappy, wondering, pondering or depressed. This corresponds with a high activity in a certain part of the human brain, called: the Resting Brain. (See: Raichle)

On the other hand we find high interactivity with the environment and/or body. That is the state of mind during which a person reports he is completely immersed in an interaction with environment or body. This is often the case while doing something one really likes, like: reading a good book, watching a good movie, surfing a good wave or playing sports or a computer game.

Presence is defined by the fact that one regularly flows from the high to the low level of interactivity and back. Presence is important because when people are in a high level of Presence they regularly reflect and therefore evaluate if one is still immersed in the right activity. Because what if one is doing something wrong? Than unnecessary energy would be ‘wasted’, would it not? People could also be growing an ‘ego’.

Once this is becomes clear, it is easy to see the examples in the environment and life where a lack of Presence causes resource depletion, behavioural errors or egos.

  • Think of Arjen Robben when kicking a penalty in the CL final; locking his mind, worrying, pondering, and looking only down to the ground. He missed. Low Presence.
  • Think of a politician that keeps holding on to a certain opinion, even though new information should make him change his mind. (Balkenende vs Bos in Dutch politics). Low Presence.
  • Think of Obama, who changed his mind on the same-sex marriage. High Presence.
  • Think of people, having rolled-into a line of work, years ago, not having reflected enough, leading to: over-using certain mental models in the brain for too long. They have been living in a high state of interactivity with the world and their body. During working hours people are busy doing stuff, and once they are free, people are busy living a hedonistic lifestyle, which consists of: sport, sex, love, partying and short holidays. Low Presence. Low activity in the resting brain.
  • Or think of our society. Time after time in history, societies have been over-using certain political and social (mental) models, not adjusting because of egos. Striving towards one big moment of reflection, called revolution or war where everything and everybody that has been needing adjustment for a long time, is removed or eradicated. At the cost of many lives and a lot of valuable resources.

The GRPMS described in this book makes this collapse unnecessary.

Motivation: Easter Island

The above all originated when cognitive science was combined with the ‘best documented collapse’ of a civilization in history. See this story for the abbreviated version (See: Easter Island or read: Collapse by Diamond.)

Easter Island illustrated low Presence in an ironic way because even though the statue-building contest was depleting valuable resources, the islanders kept on building them to prove to the other people how good their mental models were. And thus by doing that, proving their mental models needed some serious adjustments and soon. But they never did adjust.

Overstressing a certain set of mental models, called ego, formed the basis of the inability to prevent the depletion of Easter Island. Their ego resulted and it still results in the depletion of human and Earth’s resources.

Conclusion

The human survival instinct brought us our prosperity but also brings our downfall when there is a lack of Presence. For the current society, this means that to be in sync with the available resources on Earth, the mental models human identities are based on need to be adjusted; become more sustainable, like:

  • Mankind really was and is a wild animal, surviving in nature (humbling)
  • A fish really is a wild animal, caught in nature (respect)
  • 1 – 1 = 0 (logic one doesn’t have to be rocket scientist for to understand)

So the question is: how to create more sustainable identities?! How can humanity survive without overdoing it?

That is what the new system described in this book, the GRPMS, sets out to do. Please note that in order to ensure Sthiel’s independence to speak freely on political issues, this book is not sponsored by anyone and it is free.

Outro

The previous chapter provides basic knowledge about the GRPMS. The GRPMS is a system unknown to mankind today, both in its philosophy and in its complexity that supports human identity building with Presence. In other words, it is a system that manages the available resources and the human survival instinct and because of this, guarantees the passing on of the Earth with a 100%.

In the next chapter, the most important parts of the GRPMS are explained in more detail. This chapter is essential for the thorough understanding of the practical societal implications of the GRPMS. But you can decide to skip this and read the last and most interesting chapter immediately.

In this last chapter, the ‘Practical Societal Implications of the GRPMS’ will be described. An outline will be given of the way in which the GRPMS will change the ego-creating cognitions by making all the systems of the current civilization sustainable.

The GRPMS can save our planet and pass it on, by stabilizing the resource consumption and high Global Presence.

Tweet: ‘Nothing else matters’ is the essence of a non-pretentious new global story. #zeitgeist #venusproject #ego #cognitive #GRPMS

Tweet: #GRPMS introduces vision. Differences of opinion/bad solutions are not settled by adding money but by Presence- and Resource based scientific reasoning.