Introduction to the Calling/Exploration Category

Calling is the earliest stage in the building process when the feeling stirs that creating a structure could be desirable and possible.  It corresponds in the vision of The Golden Room to the sense that something is about to happen, a heightened awareness, an attentive listening for guidance.

It could also be the sense that something must happen, as many of us feel in the world today.  We are waiting and watching as that something begins to emerge and grow clear.

The EVOKE Life Planning process “Exploration” stage is extremely powerful in the hands of a skilled Registered Life Planner.  It helps us discern callings that may have been hidden from us or that we may have discounted as impossible dreams.

The posts in this section will explore the topics of callings and discernment as well as Exploration, both for Life Planners and for anyone seeking their own calling for this stage of their life.

Still More Introduction: Finding Your Way Around This Website

This is the third in a series of essential introductions to this website. One explains its structural use of metaphors, and another describes the vision of the Golden Room that forms one of those metaphors.

This third introduction explains how to find your way around.

First, starting with the basics, there is a magnifying glass at the top of each page.  Click on it and you can search by words or phrases and find all the pages and posts where those words appear.

Second, there are “share” and “print” buttons at the bottom of each page, and you may make comments as well on any post.  (This website is just getting started, so any sharing you do is most appreciated!)

Third, click the three bars at the top of each page to find a drop-down menu. (To make the menu disappear, click the X in the upper right corner.)  You will find there a list of pages, categories and tags.  They should help you find the kinds of pieces that will interest you.  For instance, the menu allows you to click on “Life Planning” and find related posts, or if you want to read more about “Mindfulness” or “Saving the World,” you can click on those words in the Tag Cloud.

Some of the menu items are self-explanatory.  The “Welcome” page contains a brief welcome.  “Recent Posts” contains a string of posts that you can scroll down.  “Introduction” offers three orientations to the content and structure of the site, including this one.  “About” has information about the creator and author of this website, Thomas Cary Kinder.

The menu gives you the opportunity to “Follow” the website, receiving email notifications of new posts as they are published.  Below that you will see a list of the most recent several posts, and at the very bottom is a Tag Cloud—by clicking on the words or phrases in that jumble you can find all the posts that are related to that topic.  The bigger the Tag title, the more pieces you will find there.

The middle section of the content menu needs some explaining.  From “Calling/Exploration” to “Returning/Aloha” are category titles where almost all the posts get filed.   Click on the menu items with those names and you will find related pieces collected there.

The first word in each category heading refers to the building process, as in building a material cabin or a spiritual Golden Room (clearing, digging, building etc.).  See the Introduction about the use of metaphors for more explanation.

The second word in each category heading is taken from Life Planning as developed by the creative and practical genius of my brother George Kinder, with the added experience of hundreds of Registered Life Planners.  Exploration, Vision, Obstacles, Knowledge and Execution are the five steps in the EVOKE Life Planning Process.  Understanding and Aloha are two of the Seven Stages of Money Maturity.  Understanding is the central, pivotal stage that brings the possibility of living with freedom and integrity, and Aloha is the final, highest stage of fulfilling our callings with generous-hearted living.

It is easy to see where posts relating to the steps of EVOKE go, and Understanding and Aloha.  You can find posts related to the other five of the Seven Stages by clicking on their Tags in the Tag Cloud.

You can read a brief introduction to each of these categories by clicking on their title below to give you an idea of the kinds of pieces you will find there:

Calling/Exploration

Siting/Vision

Clearing/Obstacles

Digging/Knowledge

Building/Execution

Dwelling/Understanding

Returning/Aloha

Updated Post

Dear Readers,

The most recent post, The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Saving the World Step Four is now complete.  An earlier, unfinished draft got posted yesterday—my apologies!

This brings to a conclusion the lengthy series of lengthy pieces on this theme.  I hope you will take a look at the first in the series, Step One, and if you are convinced as I am that it is urgent that our world attains a new consciousness as soon as possible, please continue reading in the series to see how we could accomplish it.  I would love to hear your comments, as well.

Please use the buttons at the bottom of the posts to share them with others. That is one step you can take to move us closer to the transformation we need.

Thank you!

Thomas Cary Kinder

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Saving the World Step Four

photograph by Lesley Wellman

It takes a complex set of tools and practices to make a simple basket, moving from log to woven splints to its bent and polished handle.  Every tool in this workshop has been carefully chosen by the master craftsman.  He requires that it be powered by the human body, be beautiful as well as effective, and be proven by traditional use to do the job required.  The integrity of every detail of the process and the practiced skill working with these tools are reasons why you can find this basketmaker’s work in the Smithsonian. The timeless beauty and ethic of care are why you can find people walking through his workshop with a look of joyous wonder on their faces.  Watching him work inspires creativity and hope.  A magical inner transformation takes place. George Kinder writes, “If you want a golden civilization, you must start with what is golden inside of you. If you want a civilization that will thrive for a thousand years, you must start with what is timeless inside of you.”  The workshop of Golden Room and Golden Civilization needs to be like this workshop of golden baskets.  We need to have the same kind of integrity and beauty in our process in order to work the same kind of magical transformation.

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Four Steps toward Saving the World

Here is the outline of this series of related posts:

Step Four:

The premise of this series is laid out in Step One, expressed through the words of many leaders confronting a range of issues that threaten our civilization and life on earth.  Here is another voice that sums up their consensus: Vaclav Havel said, “Without a revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing is going to change for the better.”

If all these voices are saying that we cannot make the progress we need to save the world and transform human civilization until we have a new consciousness, then doesn’t it make sense that we all focus in a serious, smart and expeditious way on attaining that consciousness?  No one is at too high a level today—we all could help the world by maturing further.

Steps Two and Three have talked about what would be needed to move the necessary percentage of the population to this new consciousness, and how we could get there.  Step Four completes the series by suggesting tools that can “facilitate the process of inner transformation,” in Thomas Keating’s words.

The tools and practices listed below vary in how much they require of us in order to be effective.  Some take an investment of time, energy or money initially and then become incorporated into our daily lives with minimal additional exertion.

They all require a degree of commitment and discipline.  This is a movement.  Movements for social change require only small groups of citizens to change the world, but they need to be committed citizens.  There is no getting around that.  We see that this work is needed.  We could be one of the ones to do it.  The choice is forced upon us.  We each need to decide to be part of the solution or not.

Below are some of the tools and practices that can help raise us to the new consciousness, higher developmental stage and deeper spiritual state the world needs.   Continue reading

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Saving the World, Step Three, Part C-2

Follow the Map: Structural Details

This great maple is growing in a landscape that the last glacial age scraped bare.  It feeds on soil formed over ten thousand years of patient building through cycles of life and death, decay and new birth.  The maple has found its own way to develop and create the structures it needs to reach the light.  It is a gift to countless lives, from birds and squirrels to spiders and beetles to mosses and microbes.  It inspires the humans who stand under it in awe.  Look at what is possible on this earth.

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Four Steps toward Saving the World

Here is the outline of this series of related posts:

Step Three is to study the map that leads us individually and culturally to the new, higher stage of consciousness that we now need—and to commit ourselves to follow that map.

Structural Details

The new consciousness and the ideal society it alone can create may have sounded wildly optimistic and out of reach in the past, but there are three reasons why we can and must leave that skepticism behind.

First, it is clear where the earth and human civilization are heading if we do not undergo this transformation.  Significant numbers of leaders and citizens support the idea that we must change in order to survive, and recognize that we need a new, higher consciousness in order to do so.  The suffering that will come of our failure to attempt it is unconscionable.  We simply must.

Second, abolishing slavery once sounded wildly optimistic and out of reach.  So did equal rights for women and the nonviolent liberation of India from the British Empire.  The transition from the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment was unimaginable.  Many times in history the human heart and mind have undergone rapid  transformations that seemed impossible before they happened.  It can happen again.  And it must.

Third, we are making rapid strides forward in many fields relating both to the Golden Room and the Golden Civilization.  We have the great spiritual and secular awakening of the contemplative path of meditation and mindfulness.  We have many brilliant insights, discoveries and innovations in the inner developmental process.  I will talk about two of the pioneers in this work below.  We also have outstanding leadership working on every problem threatening civilization and the earth today.  This series is about achieving the all important new consciousness, but the technical and advocacy work being done is obviously essential.  We have facets of the Golden Civilization vision emerging in every field.

Fear and doubt are understandable and justified in the face of escalating threats, but we cannot afford to let them control our response.  We need to acknowledge them, have compassion for them and let them go.  We need to free our hearts and minds to be transformed to a new consciousness, and that means employing tools like positive psychology and appreciative inquiry, and celebrating that we have the maps and tools we need to speed our transformation.

Here are some of the structural details from two leading thinkers who have dedicated their lives to helping people reach a new consciousness.

George Kinder

My brother, George Kinder, is a map-maker—he has been working on the maps we now need for decades.  George has been recognized in national publications as one of the 35 most influential people in financial services, one of the top Icons & Innovators in financial planning, and the first of 15 transformational advisors whose vision most changed the industry.  He has revolutionized financial advising over the last thirty years, training over 3000 professionals in 30 countries in the field of Life Planning.

George is a spiritual teacher as well, and although his maps have been designed with financial Life Planners in mind, they have broad applicability. Hundreds of financial planners are now helping their clients explore their deep heart’s core, their Golden Room.  The clients are living in, from and for the dreams or callings that they find there.  (A 2016 New York Times article described how people are following the Life Planning map to a meaningful retirement.)  Often these Life Plans contribute directly or indirectly to a healthier family, community or world.

George’s maps can be applied equally well to all facets of our lives and across the spectrum of our developmental lines or multiple intelligences, not just the financial realm.  All his maps lead us through the Golden Room of inner transformation to the transformed culture he calls the Golden Civilization.

Continue reading

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Saving the World, Step Three, Part C-1

Follow the Map: Story and Sketch

Trees have inner maps that enable them to grow out of situations that look impossible.  We do, too.  Let climate change or nuclear winter render earth uninhabitable for our species, and still a remnant may find a crack in that barren landscape to nurture a fragile survival.  We may not have much time left on the Doomsday Clock, but the good news is that we have something trees do not.  We have brains that can cultivate insights to solve problems, we have entrepreneurial spirit and technological skill that we can harness.  We may need a new consciousness in order to solve the problems that are threatening our survival, but we have knowledge and tools to “facilitate the process of inner transformation” (Thomas Keating’s phrase for Centering Prayer).  What we need are people who are willing to pursue the world-saving work of developmental growth toward that new consciousness.  Rarely have these questions been more poignant: “If not us, who?  If not now, when?”

The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Four Steps toward Saving the World

Here is the outline of this series of related posts:

Step Three is to study the map that leads us individually and culturally to the new, higher stage of consciousness that we now need—and to commit ourselves to follow that map.

Story

This story comes from one of the authors of The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain.  It was included in an article in The New Yorker in 2008 about research on how the human brain generates insights.

Researcher John Kounios told about a Zen Buddhist meditator who participated in a large study.  They were given a set of puzzles to solve.  The Buddhist performed extremely poorly at first as he strained his focus, but then he shifted his approach and used meditation skills to relax and unfocus his mind.  The article said he became “an insight machine,” and solved puzzle after puzzle.

We can cultivate insights.  We have maps that we can follow to new, higher levels of consciousness that may yield the insights we need.

Sketch

Here is a sketch of one such map.

It begins where we are now.  We face problems that we either lack the insights to solve, or that we know how to solve but lack the insight how to create sufficient political support.  The problems are urgent and threaten the survival of the world as we know it, even the survival of our race.

Already they are causing massive suffering: climate change and other environmental devastation from a variety of human causes; economic inequality and poverty; wars that unjustly kill or dislocate innocent civilians indiscriminately; the use or threatened use of cyber, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons; the rise of totalitarian and fascist movements, the weakening of democracy and entrenched polarization; hatred and oppression of people based on race, religion or other surface differences; and the escalating refugee crisis caused by many of these problems.

This map leads from here to the destination of a new consciousness that can save the world from these problems and create a Golden Civilization.

Continue reading

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for your interest in thegoldenroom.net.  I am writing to let you know that I am taking one post down and replacing it with two that are expanding on what that one contained.

I am in the midst of an extended series of long posts on a complex topic that I consider of utmost importance.  Many leading voices say we will not be able to solve today’s world-threatening problems without a new consciousness in our society.  Few are talking seriously about how we can attain that new consciousness in time to save the world.  That is what I am exploring in the series The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Four Steps toward Saving the World.

I am taking down Step Three, Part C and replacing it with Step Three, Part C-1 and Step Three, Part C-2.  I apologize if you have already read the original posting.  Thanks to comments from readers this new configuration clarifies some of the technical details and provides background information for people not familiar with them.

You should receive notification of these new postings momentarily.

Thank you!

Thomas Cary Kinder