Seeking Justice For Life
Download our framework overview containing; 12 Messages summary, life balance rubric, self-assessment worksheet, and systematic change strategy.
The purpose of this endeavour is to define and enable the achievement of the best life experience possible for humanity.
The end implication of the Theory of Change Toward Sustainable Peace (Justice For Life) is that by seeking the best life possible for oneself, we participate in a collaboration to bring justice to our existence.
Injustice is the source of many problems with enjoying life, and is evident in our individual and collective life experiences. This is why we anchor our concept of well being in the reducing of injustice.
In summary, we define Justice for Life as influencing the kinds of change that make human consciousness sustainable for life.
In summary, our theory states:
You can contribute toward a more peaceful humanity by maintaining a balance of values (Individuality, Wisdom, Community, Change) at a variety of engagement depths (Awareness, Understanding, Lifestyle).
The Shallowness and Depth of Life Experience
We start with the observation that our life experiences have both superficial and profound implications. At the superficial level, we have emotions that compel us toward certain choices or behaviors. At a more profound level, we recognize patterns in behaviors that we can use to understand causal networks and make predictions about the future.
We see the implications of our actions in both the superficial (near-term) and profound (long-term) effects in our everyday lives:
- Eat a doughnut to enjoy the taste vs pattern of eating that leads to poor health
- Express outrage at an unfairness vs communicating aggressively and provoking conflict
Any attempt to understand or change behavior will require attention throughout the scale of depth, moving from the more immediate circumstances of events through to the larger systematic effects of numerous individual behaviors. We see the importance of depth variation in our most broad life experiences:
- Forming relationships that last years by learning about yourself and how to communicate and collaborate with others. This involves conflict and developing a shared understanding of underlying problems.
- Becoming an expert at something by learning in both academic and real-world environments. This involves both personal exploration and guidance from mentors and peers.
We call the variation in our attention to these kinds of thoughts the Depth of Experience Scale, and it helps capture the complexity and interconnectedness of life.
We define the Depth of Experience Scale in three discrete experience levels: Awareness, Understanding, and Lifestyle.
At a shallow level, we experience feelings, reactions, & intuitions. Often we have feelings of unknown origin and experience unwanted feelings without the ability to feel differently. These are aspects of the Awareness level.
At the superficial level, we look around at the variety of experiences available to us, from enjoying food to laughing with friends. We see how no matter where we are in life, we desire positive emotional experiences that come from both within and with others.
This is the level of needs and wants, and the theories and mental frameworks that connect them together. We achieve understanding by creating causal chains that involve choices. This gives us networks of strategies to achieve anticipated results that can be triggered by specific choices.
We apply understanding to our lives everyday when we look for ways to create experiences we want to have, and avoid bad experiences before they can harm us. These theories often look like values, morals, scientific theories, and stereotypes.
It often takes time to develop an understanding of complex ideas and behaviors, therefore most methodologies involve an acquisitional framework that individuals find easy to follow (Heuristics). Examples of acquisition frameworks are religious texts, scientific theories, business strategy maps, and personality profiles.
The most profound level of depth involves personalities, systems, and influence.
At the profound level, we look up to leaders and learn how their views on lifestyle enabled the achievement of their goals and the impact they had on other people’s lives. Lifestyle is the experience we have navigating complex paths between our needs and our wants. The definition of a lifestyle is characterized by a connection from daily experiences to long-term outcomes.
One of the implications of the need for lifestyle adaptation is that our short-term objectives are in conflict with our long-term intentions.
The Variety of the Human Condition
We now shift focus from the Depth of Experience Scale to the Breadth of Experience Scale, which captures the experience of our Human Condition as both a conscious being and an animal.
Spending all your time in an individual pursuit, or only to achieve community goals will leave you unhappy about an imbalance and feeling as though you are not living the best life possible.
We define the Breadth of Experience Scale as values because they are often called into mind as a means to bring a deeper understanding of specific situations in order to make better choices. This scale introduces the concept of balance at every depth level as a means to unite theory and daily application.
As a measure of experience variety, the scale starts on one end at the self and individual needs as a human animal. At the other end is the collective need to for sustainably, and between them is the reality we all share. This range captures the universal concepts of the inner and outer, or Yin/Yang, our most enduring theories of universal value. See the resources section for a review of concepts used to define the four values.
These four values can be used to maintain balance: Individuality, Wisdom, Community, and Change.
We must value that we each have our own rights, interests, our capacity for both competition and collaboration. We value individuality when we look at the inside of things, show respect to ourselves and others, and clearly define expectations and boundaries with others.
We express the value of individuality as enabling us to “lean back”, or look within. When we feel like things are moving too fast, or we are lost in the group needs, we feel bad because we are lacking value for our individuality.
Thus, the value in Individuality is to bring attention, often through the energy of pain or failure, to the self and the need for safety, creative activity, and purpose.
We must value our shared reality and attempt to use resources collectively and sustainably. We balance when we use curiosity to solve problems and build systems to organize and utilize resources wisely.
Wisdom has value in its ability to connect our minds to reality. We recognize that we have only one shared reality, and thus a systematic approach is required to identify truth. When we feel like others are not on the same page, or confused about why something is happening, it’s due to a low value for Wisdom.
The value of Wisdom is to use curiosity to bring attention to our need to understand reality and how it differs from our experience of what is true.
We must value each other in achieving our goals and enjoying our lives, as well as our need to overcome collective problems together. We lean forward when we seek or create new experiences that help us better understand the world and connect with others.
We need each other to enjoy our own lives and can achieve far more by working collaboratively. When we feel alone, isolated, or carrying too much of a burden, we look to the value of the community to restore balance.
The value of Community is to receive the benefits of collaboration, and remember that we need each other.
Everything is changing, always. And yet, nothing new is happening. When we feel like nothing can change, or unmotivated to cause change, we are missing the value of what’s happening around us.
Humans have tremendous power to cause change. Reducing harm is a practice in using influence over control and acceptance of the risk in life. We capture the concept of influencing change with dance. We dance when we live in the moment, leaning forward and back, and shift our attention where it’s needed to maintain balance.
The Path Along the Intersections
We combine these two dimensions and a grid of intersections develops. On one corner is the superficial level of individuality, where we find our personal problems that lead us to question our enjoyment of life. The other corner is at the profound level of change, where we are our truly enjoying life.
As both a result of this intersectionality and as an acquisitional model, we outline our theory in the 12 Messages of Justice For Life.
Each message is focused at one awareness level and value, and by cycling through all 12 messages. They each outline an aspect of our theory with an intent on the achievement of sustainable peace and the best possible life experience.
Message 1-4 Depth Level: Awareness
01 The Core Problem
Character: Lean Back on Individuality with Awareness of senses
Objective: Overcome insecurity with alignment (self-forgiveness) so that you can improve.
At a superficial level, our Four Causes of Injustice are; Insecurity, Ignorance, Intolerance, Inaction.
02 The Solutions
Character: Center using Wisdom with Awareness of senses
Objective: Reduce ignorance with curiosity and a scientific approach.
A basic awareness of working on our problems is The Four Character Values; Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Compassion
03 Our Future
Character: Lean Forward with Community with Awareness of senses
Objective: Reject intolerance by accepting that we need each other to survive.
A basic awareness of our potential is The Four Ideals; Pacifist, Philanthropist, Humanist, Vegan
04 Your Opportunity
Character: Dance with Change with Awareness of senses
Objective: Overcome inaction by leaning into opportunities to experience change.
The Four Just Choices; Forgive, Share, Trust, Heal
Message 5-8 Depth Level: Understanding
05 Value Individuality
Character: Lean Back on Individuality with Understanding of patterns
Objective: Respect individuality in life, and the importance of being a conscious animal.
Overcome insecurity with forgiveness.
06 Value Wisdom
Character: Center using Wisdom with Understanding of patterns
Objective: Share wisdom, and its purpose to connect minds to reality.
Overcome ignorance by sharing.
07 Value Community
Character: Lean Forward with Community with Understanding of patterns
Objective: Be responsible for the community, and our need to leave no one behind.
Overcome intolerance by trusting.
08 Value Change
Character: Dance with Change with Understanding of patterns
Objective: Care about change, and the chaos, risks, and pleasures of life.
Overcome inaction by healing.
Message 9-12 Depth Level: Lifestyle
09 Social Justice
Character: Lean Back on Individuality with Lifestyle of systemization
Objective: Look up to the sage who is not fooled by animal games, not provoked by the predator inside.
Become a pacifist by practicing respect.
10 Economic Justice
Character: Center using Wisdom with Lifestyle of systemization
Objective: Look up to the generous who see a bounty around them, and engage the gamesters, who see scarcity.
Become a philanthropist by practicing integrity
11 Political Justice
Character: Lean Forward with Community with Lifestyle of systemization
Objective: Look up to the people around you, engage with differentness, and ignore the judgemental.
Become a Humanist by practicing responsibility
12 Ecological Justice
Character: Dance with Change with Lifestyle of systemization
Objective: Look up to the complexity of life, and our need to protect it from ourselves.
Become a Vegan by practicing compassion
Best Possible Life Experience
It’s not necessary to have a precise definition of “the good life” or any other description of life satisfaction. The differences between most definitions would be compatible with the two core assumptions made in our definition: sustainable peace.
Theory of Change Toward Sustainable Peace (Justice For Life)
This is the formal name of the theory described in this document. It captures both the core assumptions (that most people want sustainable peace) and that we can have them by changing.
We define injustice as the broad category of systematic behaviors that are both unnecessary and cause harm. The unnecessary nature of harmful behaviors relate to our survival on a basic, animal level. When those behaviors cause harm, and yet do not improve our basic survival, they can be considered unnecessary.
Thus, we define injustice as unnecessary harm caused by our survival natures.
We are animals under the influence of consciousness. Our consciousness feels primary but acts secondarily to our feelings (limbic region of the brain). It’s only when our survival natures (aggressive & defensive feelings) are calm can our consciousness exert its full influence on actions.
An aspect of our Human Condition, the Survival Nature captures that set of mental experiences and reactionary behaviors that originate from the limbic region of our brains. The concept is intended to characterize this system as primary in survival as defined in evolutionary theory. They relate mainly to the aggressive and defensive thoughts and behaviors that improve survival in our evolved environments.
This concept used to illustrate that our Survival Natures are no longer useful in achieving our long-term intentions, which extend beyond basic survival.
We believe that the Path to Justice will guide an individual to live their best life possible and that by doing so, they will contribute to humanity’s peace and sustainability, and a better life for everyone.
|Existing Concept||Connection to Theory|
|Maslow’s Hierarchy||Five Levels: |
Self Actualization = Change
Esteem = Wisdom
Love / Belonging = Community
Safety = Individuality
Physiological = Individuality
|SWOT Analysis||Four Quadrants: |
Strengths = Wisdom & Individuality
Weaknesses = Wisdom & Community
Opportunities = Change & Individuality
Threats = Change & Community
|Yin / Yang||Two Sides: |
Yin = Outside = Community & Change
Yang = Inside = Individuality & Wisdom
|Conservative & Liberal Political Ideologies||Polarization: |
Conservative = Lean Back (Individuality at all levels)
Liberal = Lean Forward (Community at all levels)
|Inglehart–Welzel cultural map
(From World Values Survey)
|Two dimensions: |
Traditional values versus Secular-rational values = Lifestyle in Community versus Lifestyle in Wisdom
Survival values versus Self-expression values =
Understanding of change versus Understanding of Individuality
|Human Development Theory||There are six basic pillars of human development: |
equity, = Wisdom at a lifestyle level
sustainability, = Change at all levels
productivity, = Wisdom at an understanding level
empowerment, = Individuality at Lifestyle level
cooperation = Community at Lifestyle level
Security. = Individuality at an awareness and understanding level
|Cognitive behavioral therapy||NEO Personality Inventory: |
Neuroticism = Awareness / Individuality
Extroversion = Understanding / Community
Openness to Experience = Wisdom & Change
Agreeableness = Lifestyle / Community
Conscientiousness = Lifestyle / Individuality
|Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape||Three projects for science as it relates to morality: |
(1) explaining why humans do what they do in the name of “morality” (e.g. traditional evolutionary psychology), = Awareness
(2) determining which patterns of thought and behavior humans actually should follow (i.e. the science of morality), and = Understanding
(3) generally persuading humans to change their ways. = Lifestyle
The “Value Problem” is your term for a common criticism of your proposed science of morality—namely, that it presupposes answers to fundamental questions of morality and value.
We must both pre-suppose and then check the suppositions against a variety of applied lifestyle outcomes which are readily available. Lifestyle outcomes associated with Pacifism, Philanthropy, Humanism, and Veganism are all informants to our supposition.
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