Move Up In The World: Reverse Your Thinking
Basically, the idea I am going to explore here is learning how to reverse (that is, completely turn
around) your ideas about what you have grown accustomed to thinking
of as “moving
Many of the concepts that will be addressed in this new section of my website are extremely far-reaching in their implications (to say the least). Therefore you should expect that it will take some amount of time to learn and to come to terms with exactly what the issues are, and what you can do about them.
There are a handful of key concepts that (for most modern Western people) will change dramatically the way that you see the world and your life. Once you start to get enough of these key concepts into your mind, you will be able to see a much clearer picture of what is really going on here, and you will most likely experience dramatic shifts in your views on many things.
This can be extremely confronting, and disturbing, to some people — especially if the subject is approached in the wrong way. It is the purpose of this series of articles (and of my book) to explain the changes, and also to show you how to approach them in the right way.
The Central Concept — Reversal
The central concept of this article is the idea of reversal: That for the whole entire history of humanity (on average, as
there have been a few ups and downs within this history) we have had a
continuously increasing supply of available energy and other resources.
This is about to change, permanently, for the simple fact that absolute
global limits are now being reached. Once this changes, many — a great
many — other things will also change.
For the last several hundered years (perhaps since the Renaissance
period around the 1500s) our civilisation has experienced basically
continuous growth. This has accelerated rapidly with the discovery
of oil in the mid 1800s, and the widespread utilisation of oil beginning
in the first decades of the 1900s.
This constant growth, and constantly increasing supply of energy,
has allowed for the increasing specialisation of society, of government,
of skills, of knowledge, of ways of living, and many other things.
It has meant, for example, that individuals have learned more and
more that they will become better off by specialising in a narrow
field of knowledge. And these narrow fields have become increasingly
removed from natural systems (such as agrigulture), and increasingly
more technological (and many would say, “artificial”). It has also
meant that systems of organisation of people has become more and
more aggregated—people have become concentrated into large
urban and suburban settlements rather than small local/rural villages.
And the control structures themselves (the law, the govenment, and
such things) and the means by which instructions are transmitted
to people (e.g. the mass media) have also increasingly become more
and more centralised.
With the peaking of world resource consumption, all this is about
In the future, on the downslope of the global production/consumption
curve, the opposite effects will come into play. That is,
if you want to “move up in the world”, many of your objectives in
will becompletely different to what they have been in the previous (i.e.
up-till-now) and familiar situation of ongoing growth and continuously increasing consumption.
This Is Big
These changes will affect the lives of everyone on the planet in major
ways. As an outcome of this, a great many of the trends that people have
gotten used to, and taken for granted, will reverse — that is, they will
still operate, but in the opposite direction to that in which they have
been up until now. Consequently, many of the motivating factors in
people's lives, the reasons for why it is either a good or a bad idea to
do (or not do) pretty much everything that we do, will also reverse.
The Problem With Your Existing Viewpoint
Because of this reversal, almost all ordinary Western people will
find themselves in the undesirable situation where a great many of the
things that their previous, familiar life has taught them to feel
positive (optimistic, hopeful, excited, happy) about are not only no
longer possible to achieve in the long term, but would only lead them
even deeper into the problem that they are already in. Similarly, a
great many things that will have by then become the right things to do
(things that will move you forward in your life) will be things that
people's previous pre-reversal lives have taught them are not useful
That is, a great many of the things that will be actually positive
in the post-reversal world will trigger negative thoughts and emotions,
and a great many of the things that are actually negative will trigger
positive thoughts and emotions. This is clearly the complete opposite of
how things should be ideally.
To remedy this situation, by changing your viewpoint, is the “Reversing
Your Thinking” that is being considered here.
This can be a difficult topic to understand at first, so here it is again worded in a slightly different way: Because of the all-time reversal of energy consumption and economic growth, much of the thoughts, opinions, beliefs, ideas, motives, drives, emotions and many other things in your mind will no longer be useful in the form that they are in. In fact many of them will be completely backwards. This is because you have acquired these thoughts (and emotions, and other mental states) within the context of a certain type of world.
In that world, there was more and more energy and material resources available for consumption as time went on. Once this physical reality changes — because population growth and resource and energy consumption per person has exceeded the capacity of the planet to provide us with more and more energy and resources — a lot of what makes up the set of thought and emotional patterns your mind has learned will be outdated.
Things Are Not Nearly As Bad As They Seem
The first response to these changes that will be experienced by most ordinary people, who have the view of the world that is held by the average modern western person, is that they will imagine them as being a bad thing. But what is important to realise is that this is only because, within that existing view of the world (which was valid only in the particular context of neverending consumption and material growth), the direction people will benefit most from heading in now (and in the future) was not, for most people, a productive direction.
That is, for many people the outer changes that they are going to be making to their lives will initially feel bad. Not because what they are doing is bad or negative (actually it is the exact opposite), but only because in the pre-reversal world that they are used to, those things (which are useful and positive in the post-reversal world) were seen and felt as being negative, not of value, and “backward”.
Emotions are just one part of your being. They exist for the purpose of directing you into what your DNA and biology (and also your spirit, if you believe in that) regard as being a productive, beneficial direction. That is, they are meant to help you (and your species as a whole).
What you want is to be in a state where things that are actually beneficial to your life and your future feel positive (happy, exciting, optimistic, and so on). And where things that are actually negative feel negative.
This is the goal of learning to reverse your thinking.
The reason you want to learn to reverse your thinking is because the direction the world is headed is about to reverse. Therefore, certain key aspects of your state of mind, your thoughts, emotions, view of the world, and so on, will also need to reverse if you want them to remain operating in the correct direction — in a healthy and useful direction.
No matter what your situation (or the world situation), it is always possible to improve your life — to move forward into your future in a positive way, and to do the things that will result in improvements for you and/or for others. It is very difficult, though, to do positive and constructive things with your life when the view of life that your mind has learned is sending you signals that are backwards. That is, if it is generating negative emotions for things that are positive, and positive emotions for things that are (or are soon about to be) no longer of value.
The word “reverse” itself means turning around and going in the other
direction — the opposite direction to the one that you were going in
originally. If the direction that you were going in was the wrong
direction, or has become the wrong direction due to a change in
circumstances, then to turn around and go the other way means that you
are now going in the right direction — the one that will lead you to
where you want to be. The one that will move you up in the world.
When you turn around and point yourself the other
way, what was once seen as going forward is now going backwards, and
vice versa — what was once seen as travelling backwards is now moving
Understanding and applying the full implications of this —
learning exactly what is going to change, how it will affect you, and
what you can do about it, is the subject we are here to learn.
The process of changing the deepest and most basic ideas about the
future — and the world, and what is important to be doing in your life —
is not a trivial one. It is a huge task to undertake. It is by no means
impossible though, as you will discover for yourself if you choose to proceed along this path of learning.
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