What Kind of World Do You Want?
Our world is on the cusp of a transformation. We have the opportunity and the technology to unleash the fullness of the human spirit. But, do we have the will? Do YOU have the will?
“We must become the change we want to see.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Axiogenics is a technological advance, not a philosophical one. It is the integration of newly discovered scientific knowledge. Technological advances allow us to create new products, systems, and methodologies that are intended, ultimately, to improve quality of life. Some advances are relevant only to a few people in specific niche environments, professions, or life circumstances. Axiogenics, however, is applicable to virtually all people because it deals with the very essence of what it means to be human.
Axiogenics provides a universal framework for maximizing value in all things. By adopting a valuegenic approach to all personal, business, social, economic, ethical, and political decisions, humankind can uphold and unleash all the goodness that progress can create while mitigating the risks of collateral damage. At the same time, Axiogenics sheds new light on the age-old quest for higher meaning, purpose, values, ethics, and morals.
Our world, your world, is on the cusp of another transformational time—a renaissance of sorts. At one end of the spectrum, great and divergent political forces are driving wedges between science and spirit. At the other end, science and spirit are finding more commonality and convergence with each other than ever before.
The Western Renaissance of the 14th to 16th centuries was a time of great change and gave birth to the modern era. It was the time of such lauded thinkers as Newton, Galileo, daVinci, Copernicus, Mirandola, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Descartes. Yet it was also the time of the Inquisition, the Hundred Years War, slavery, and the black plague. It was a time of great change as old empires collapsed new ones were born.
Today, technology and communications are demolishing the barriers that geography, culture, religion, politics, and even industrial-might have long imposed. The global landscape is dramatically and rapidly changing.
More and more we see organizations comprised of people from every race, language, custom, religion, and world-view working shoulder to shoulder. On any given day, millions of people travel to faraway lands to interact with people of very different cultures than their own. What’s more, this “travel” need not be any farther than our computers and cell phones.
The co-mingling of diverse value perspectives is creating new social, business, and political dynamics. For some, this brings excitement and possibility: for others, uncertainty, fear, and even destruction. Organizations that were the stalwarts of finance and industry just a few years ago, no longer exist. Old “empires” are crumbling and new ones are emerging. The question is, will the new empires be any better than the old ones?
At the same time, technological and scientific advances are bringing us ever-closer to understanding the enormously important continuity and interdependence between all things, from the infinite immensity of the cosmos to the infinitesimal smallness of quantum physics.
People have become keenly interested in exploring and discovering the greater meaning and purpose of life. The ideals of social responsibility, stewardship, and servant leadership are taking center-stage in the world theater of commerce and politics.
Yet in the face of all this transformation, our global economy is troubled, our ethics are being tested, and our sense of meaning and purpose is being strangled by conflict and the need for financial survival. Many people are stressed and fearful of an unknown future. Too many of our leaders and policy makers are showing themselves to be extraordinarily self-centric and arrogant while masquerading as having our best interest at heart.
Which direction will the world go? Where will we be ten, twenty, fifty years from now? There are powerful forces at work that doubt the fundamental goodness of the human spirit. These forces do not trust human nature. Some seek to control and limit our freedoms. Clearly, history has given ample evidence that human nature can have a “dark side.” We know that human nature is greatly influenced by life experiences, cultural norms, education, conditioning and even indoctrination. However, science has also shown that biologically “normal” human brain prefers and seeks goodness.
What if humankind could shift from the prevailing self-centric mindset to a mindset that holds The Central Question in the forefront? Could we alter the current trajectory of our global future?
Could we embrace our local and global diversity while coming together toward common goals as individuals, groups, teams, organizations, nations, and world-citizens? Could the “hard” world of science converge with the “soft” world of love, respect, spirituality, Values, morals, and ethics, rather than remain segregated by fear, hatred, and a struggle for power? What will it take to create thriving and abundant businesses, communities and societies in the face of those that would seek to limit and control human nature?
The first Renaissance marked the beginning of the segregation between science and spirit and gave rise to an age of polar opposites, such as religious fervor and scientific elitism, liaise faire capitalism and authoritative communism, imperialistic domination and self-protective isolationism. The science and principles in this book can provide the foundation for a new and very different kind of renaissance. Axiogenics holds the promise of a re-convergence; a middle ground based in hard science, yet anchored in the innate Values and goodness of the human spirit.
We can maximize net value by unleashing human potential, rather than suppressing it and coercing people into making the decisions that those in power want them to make. We can shift our thinking to be more focused on creating value: celebrating and unleashing all the good that our creative human spirit brings to life and still be logical and rational. Unlike the Star Trek character, Mr. Spock, we can choose to be both rational-logical and loving-compassionate.
Can we afford not to shift ourselves and our culture towards a more valuegenic way of life? If we fail to make this shift, we may find ourselves no better off than we were in the dark ages. Under the control and influence of self-centric power brokers and policy makers, apathy and mediocrity will only get worse and ultimately lead to the destruction of individuality, personal choice, creativity, and self-determination.
The human spirit is hungry for goodness. The human mind is amazingly adaptable and pre-wired for incalculable goodness. The world is starving for more enlightened leadership. We know we can be better and we must be better if we are to fulfill our true potential.
What kind of world do you want? You have the power to choose. If you are the only one in the world that continually seeks to answer The Central Question, it may only make a difference within your immediate circle. But you are not alone and you have more influence than you may know.
The world you choose to work towards is your children’s world. You have the power to choose what kind of legacy you want leave them. If enough become intentionally more valuegenic, we will change the course of history. You will reap your own rewards of freedom and abundance, and together we will create a strong foundation for future generations to build upon.
You can start by learning to understand and embrace the principles of living, loving, and leading from the perspective of The Central Question. Making this shift will require doing the work to develop your own capacity to answer the Question: to unlock and raise your own VQ.
Community and organizational leaders can model and apply these principles to unleash the enormous reserves of human ingenuity, productivity, partnership, and cooperation locked within the prison of self-centric doubts, fears, and concerns. A global renaissance will require a multitude of like-minded people dedicating themselves to the task and encouraging others to do the same. It will require personal discipline and a collective commitment. In the face of resistance from those that would seek to limit and control the full expression of our human spirit’s innate potential for greatness, we will need to have the social willpower to stand together strong and confident.
In the next chapters, we will begin exploring the principles and sciences that form the basis of Axiogenics and its relevance to your life, your organization, and our world. From there, we will explore the practices that will bring the power of The Central Question alive in your world, your life, and your work.
. . .  (Pugh, 1977)