Often when I take the bus from home to work in the early morning, I tend to do a uhort mindfulness meditation using an app I can highly recommend, called Calm. Though each meditation lasts for around 10 minutes, I manage to get into a light and soothing meditative state fairly quickly. Enough to get that freshness of mind that I benefit from for a good portion of the day.per
However, while listening to today’s meditation, I got startled by something that annoys me quite a bit. It happens when companies that operate internationally become too nationalistic. Calm is an app made by a company founded in San Francisco USA. Their app is used by many of people around the globe and we must assume that they are highly aware of this. But today they weren’t. As the guided meditation started, the narrator told me that today is National Teachers Day. At first, I thought I didn’t hear it correctly, so I quickly started the recording again, but the otherwise so lovely voice repeated the same word again… National…. I instantly realized that I went into irritation mode. Why does a company with a global user base, assume that what is national for them is national for everybody? Or in other words, why assume that your reality is the same reality for everybody else?
I reside in Norway and today we do not celebrate National Teachers Day in Norway. And as a matter of fact, I cannot find anything that says that Norwegians have such a day. To make things worse National Teachers Day is celebrated at different times of the year depending on where you live on the planet. Just take a look at this list I found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Teachers%27_Days
Now you might think: “Wow Seb! Why get all worked up because of this?” And you are right, I maybe shouldn’t have reacted to it. But I did and the way I reacted is by writing this article. Because I want you to know that the core of this issue is a part of the global human belief system that has been causing disaster after disaster for centuries. And I strongly believe that we as a global society will not get out of this negative circle before we change this core part of our belief system.
The part of the belief system I’m talking about is the part where we unconsciously assume that our view of the reality around us is more or less the same as everybody else’s view of reality. In other words, my world is your world. So in the above example, the content creator of the Calm app unconsciously assumed that the country he or she resides in is the world he or she lives in, and is, therefore, the same world other people on the planet live in as well. So National Teachers Day got presented as it being a day that is celebrated all over the world on the same day. Was the content creator conscious of the different versions of reality each and every one of us lives in, then National Teachers Day would most likely have been mentioned as it being a day celebrated in the USA.
We often tend to react in a negative way when we find out that the reality of another person deviates strongly, as happened in my case. The above example caused just a minor inconvenience, but what if world leaders do the same? How often have we heard about human rights and some countries and cultures not adhering to it? Who has the right so set the standard for human rights? Views on what human rights are, differ greatly globally as we can see every day. Even between countries that claim they have the right to set the standard for human rights. In Japan, work related stress causes situations where employees die at work, yet Japan seems not to take this too seriously because it’s part of Japanese culture and thus embedded in the Japanese belief system saying that one has to give everything for their employer.
Things tend to get worse when world leaders are using these deviations in reality perception, for their own gain. Some world leaders even claiming they do a great service towards others with it. We all know how some leaders wanted to free the people of Iraq, Libya, and Syria from their suppressing dictators. One leader openly claiming that he got a message from his God that he should spread democracy throughout the middle east. Like human rights, who has the right to say that living in a democratically based reality is the only right thing? Who has the right to dictate to others that their version of reality is best?
And here we get into some concepts that have helped me a lot in my life and maybe you too if you feel they resonate with you.
1) To experience change, be the change.
I already demonstrated it with the sentence above. Here I don’t state that my experience with these concepts, means they must work for you, and therefore you shall try them. I simply present them to you and invite you to try them if you feel they can benefit you. So this one leader claiming that his God asked him to spread democracy throughout the middle-east, only had to show the countries in the middle-east how democracy works for his country. If it is truly something that other countries can benefit from then they would try to go in a more democratic direction all by themselves at a time that is best for them. But instead, this leader shows the countries in the middle east that democratic countries use war to spread their view of reality. I think you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the countries in the middle-east aren’t very positive towards the thought of living in a democratic society anymore.
2) You are a creator being and create your own reality.
The way we perceive reality and experience this perception of reality is based on too many factors to mention here. The way our senses work and the knowledge that the quality of these senses varies from person to person, already makes that each and every one of us experiences reality in their own way. Each having their own version of reality. Realities overlap without a doubt, but they are never 100% the same for anyone of us. The difference in how we experience reality makes that we also react differently to them. For example, I reacted differently to the guided meditation than someone else would have done. For me, knowing and being aware that we all live in our own personal realities, has made big changes in my life in the way I interact with people. In general, I can say that those that understand this concept have the ability to be better listeners, more understanding, compassionate and respectful.
3) Become conscious of your unconsciousness.
From the moment we are born, we are subject to a form of programming not so different from how we program computers. We can see our body as a biological supercomputer. The way we input the programming code is not by keyboard, but by means of perceiving, analysing and experiencing our reality. Our whole program is stored in and executed by our nervous system. When we are born we come hard coded with basic functions. These functions lead to the expression of certain feelings, emotions and behaviours as a reaction to the experiences from our environment. From birth, these are mostly functions that have to do with survival. That we pull back our hand when we sense we are burning our finger is such an automated hard coded function. We can also install our own functions and subroutines. Most of us will call this learning. When we react to our experiences in the same way over and over again they also get hard coded into our programming like the survival functions and subroutines. Ones they are hard coded into our system, we execute them automatically. We are most of the time not aware that we executed them. We execute them unconsciously. To become conscious of these unconsciously executed routines that are not part of our basic biological system is like installing a monitoring system into your program, a difficult but also very rewarding task. That gets easier and easier with practice. At our course “You are more than a human being” we teach you how you can install this monitoring system yourself, with some very potent meditation techniques.
In my experience with the meditation, I became conscious of my unconscious reaction to me getting irritated. And because I became conscious of my irritation I didn’t trigger the function called “Write an angry mail or letter”. Instead, I reacted by analysing the situation and the result is what you are reading now. Instead of a destructive reaction, I choose to execute a constructive reaction, which I hope can benefit you who is reading this. Can you imagine what the world would look like today did the government of the USA react consciously to the 9/11 attacks? Funny enough there are several versions of reality around 9/11. Can you imagine…
Love & Light – Seb
For the Calm app visit: https://www.calm.com