Michael Skye asked:
Today’s parents, teachers and leaders who grasp this concept of “natural greatness” are raising visionary children. These young visionaries have the power to create a world that works for all of us, and they are whom the world needs now.
The person of greatness, who will act powerfully from his own highest inner guidance, is at once a danger to the powers that be… and exactly who he needs to be for himself, his family, and the world around him. The person of greatness holds the power to transform the world around her.
The person of goodness, on the other hand, will follow and obey the powers that be rather than listen to and act from his own highest inner guidance, and is thus a danger to us all. She does not hold the power to transform the world around her, and often makes it worse, all the while trying to maintain the illusion of her self-righteousness.
What separates the person of goodness from the person of greatness? In a word, we could say “conscience.” But that word is perhaps too common or simplistic. Further, most of us assume that we know what “conscience” is.
What is “conscience?”
Consider that the word, conscience, was invented to name a universal human dynamic. In other words, it was obvious that human beings everywhere have some sense of right and wrong, which influences our choices. And so we created a word to identify that phenomenon.
So please forget about its religious or spiritual connotations or explanations for the moment, and consider that conscience, regardless of its source, refers to something common to human beings. And let’s look at it again, as if for the first time.
Think of conscience as an inner compass that continually reminds us to look at our choices, and make sure our actions align with our values.
Human beings have a consciousness (or conscience) that works via ongoing signals to face reality (especially when there is incongruence), and to stand (especially when there is a threat to one’s values). Further explained below.
Conscience As (Part Of) A Natural Greatness Guidance System:
Conscience works to guide your thoughts and actions via subtle emotional cues. The subtle pleasurable emotions function as signals to go towards, and subtle painful emotions function as signals to go away from.
To Face or Not To Face?
Often in very subtle ways, your mind alerts you when there is a threat to your values, when there is something to face or be conscious of. When you consider not facing what your mind is signaling you to face, there is anxiety or even guilt. When you consider, instead, turning to face it, there is less anxiety as well as a feeling of honor. This pleasurable feeling of honor is a “call to face.” And the painful feelings of guilt or anxiety are a warning not to ignore the call.
Then once you choose to face whatever it was and you reflect on your choice, there is naturally a feeling of honor for doing so. This is a pleasurable feeling that brings a sense of peace, and acts as a reward for facing. When you choose not to face and reflect on your choice, there is naturally a painful feeling of guilt or shame, a painful feeling, which acts as punishment for not facing.
To Stand or Not To Stand?
Your mind not only calls you to face, it calls you to stand. Let’s say you face the fact that your rent is late. Your mind then calls you to action, or to “stand” for your financial security. When you consider not standing, you feel a sense of guilt on some level, as you are going against your values. This acts as a signal to stand. And when you consider standing for your values, there is naturally a sense of honor. This acts pleasurable feeling leads you or “calls you” to stand.
Then once you do choose to stand for you values, the feeling of honor is your natural reward. And choosing not to stand brings a feeling of guilt.
So, conscience 1a) calls you to face reality, 1b) warns you against not facing, 1c) rewards you for facing, 1d) pains you for not facing, 2a) calls you to stand, 2b) warns you against not standing for your values, 2c) rewards you for standing, and 2d) pains you for not standing. In summary, it leads you to live powerfully and courageously in line with your values in life by 1) continually looking honestly at reality, yourself and your values, and 2) continually act on behalf of your values even in the face of fear.
This is essentially a call to greatness, is it not? So then, could greatness be natural? Could it be that we each possess a natural greatness guidance system?
And if so, then why so much training to be good? And how does this goodness training interfere with our natural conscience, our call to greatness?
If you were threatened by your child’s, your student’s, your employee’s or your citizens independent conscience/consciousness… how could you train him or her to not follow his own conscience/consciousness?
Well, here’s one way:
1) Teach him that it is wrong to think and choose for himself, and then teach him what to think
2) Punish him for thinking or choosing differently than your commands
3) Reward him for blind obedience
In essence, tell him that to be good is to agree and obey with you, and train him to follow. Sooner or later, he will pay attention to your goodness guidance system rather than his greatness guidance system. Before thinking or acting, he will think first of what you say to do, and how he might be rewarded or punished.
Now… of course most of our adults, superiors, and authorities in this world simply want what’s best for us. As adults, we need to help our children learn to be good, upstanding, responsible citizens and successful people, right? We can’t just let them do whatever they want! Consider that as human beings in the early 21st century, we simply don’t yet know much about developing greatness in our children or ourselves.
Not only are we not taught how to develop greatness in our children, we are conditioned and taught to train our children to be “good.”
And, even when we sense that goodness training is killing the greatness or spirit in our youth, it simply seems more “practical” to train them to be “good.”
Think about it. If you need to get your school kids from classroom A to classroom B, it’s simply seems more efficient to tell them that walking in a single file line is good, and going their own way is not, and then reward/punish them based on their actions.
So, regardless of why we often train each other to be good rather than develop each other’s natural greatness, let’s face now the obvious problem at hand: our goodness training is interfering with our natural greatness!
A visionary (as we define it) operates via a vision that calls her to greatness. Think of vision as a multiplier of your conscience. Imagine… more than feeling called to be honest with yourself, and more than feeling called to stand for your values… Imagine seeing a vision that calls you to face anything and everything, and stand without compromise day in and day out… until the end! Imagine having the kind of vision that calls not just your self, but your team and even your adversaries to greatness!
That’s the power of tomorrow’s visionaries. The new breed of revolutionaries are all visionaries–people who call themselves AND the world around them to greatness.
The more you face and stand, the more you will see the kind of vision that calls yourself and others to greatness. The more you see the kind of vision that calls you and others to greatness, the more you will face and stand. The more you face and stand, the more others will face and stand. The more others face and stand, the more still others will face and stand.
It’s not hard to see
how one single person living as a visionary can literally change not just the wor
ld around him, but humanity itself.
Ask yourself what kind of formal and informal goodness training you’ve had. Now… have you had training in greatness? What about vision? What would such training be worth to you and to your children?
Beyond greatness training, there is visionary training.
Consider that as a human being you have all you need for greatness. Human consciousness works via calling us to 1) face, and 2) stand. You probably sense that to some extent you’ve been trained or conditioned to ignore or turn away from your own conscience and consciousness. And you probably have a good idea of how this negatively impacts your power in life and your sense of fulfillment in this world.
Well what if you were to experience your natural greatness guidance system in all its power? What if you were to live consciously and skillfully as a visionary? Is that even possible?