Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Relationship with Nature = Path to a “Growth Mindset”
Living with Ecosystems = Antidote to a “Fixed Mindset”

Image (Infographic): Two Mindsets 
Credit: Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. Graphic by Nigel Holmes

“I have always been deeply moved by outstanding achievement and saddened by wasted potential.”
~ Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Author, “Mindset”
The above infographic and quote come from Carol S. Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and one of the world’s foremost researchers in the field of motivation: why people succeed and what fosters success.

In her book, “Mindset,” Dr. Dweck explores a relatively simple idea, which flies in the face of some fairly well-established notions of success—what it takes to succeed and how to encourage success—namely, that brains and talent alone do not guarantee success, and that praising these factors (and rewarding them) may in fact jeopardize success.
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

Source: http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/index.html
Disclaimer: we haven’t read Dr. Dweck’s book; we can neither critique her work nor offer any commentary about her methods of analysis.

We can, however, agree with her conclusions—her basic theory—especially as summarized in the above infographic; and moreover, offer a path to circumventing the fixed mindset trap and adopting a growth mindset instead.

You guessed it: once again ecosystems; nature show us the way.

We can say many things about nature—many theories, opinions, judgments, and beliefs—but one cannot deny the fluidity of the natural world. IN NATURE NOTHING IS FIXED.

Even the hardest substances known to man, diamonds, are in constant motion—vibration. Moreover, in their natural state, diamonds—being crystals—do actually “grow.” 

Video: Timelaps of Crystals Growing  by EsotericWorlds
Growing crystals on a microscope slide in cross-polarised light.

Now, if the hardest, most stable substances in nature known to humankind are also the most valuable (diamonds, gold) what does that tell you about the state of our psychology? Well, just look around at the world created by human beings.

Our psychology, like the world around us, is mechanical. It is not organic, fluid, adaptive, receptive, dynamic. Generally speaking our thought patterns are rigid, restrictive, repetitive, stubborn, etc. Our world is one of concrete buildings, machines, assembly lines, digital technology…we like it that way, because our generally fixed mindsets like it that way…mechanical, predictable, solid, controlled.

Now let us look at nature. Sure, there are rules and mechanical laws which nature abides by—gravity and the other mechanical laws of physics come to mind—but within the framework of a broad set of theses parameters, the observable universe is anything but rigid.

Yes, nature definitely has a mechanical level—that’s the one that we observe simplistically with our mechanical psychology and declare ourselves worthy of “lording over”—nuclear weapons, GMO’s, and all other manner of humans playing gods with the “Lego pieces of life” are the result. 

But nature has another, more subtle level. That level is anything but mechanical. That is the level that one can actually form a real relationship with…like the indigenous peoples of the world did so effectively. It is an intelligentsia of loving and nurturing compassion. It is explorative, experimental, but natural and gradual in its experimentation…evolution and devolution.

The intelligentsia of ecosystems is trans-organismic. It is the only way to achieve collective harmony and symbiosis. Those who study chaos theory and fractals understand there is a level of organizational technology at work in nature which goes beyond mechanistic nature

Living with an ecosystem opens one’s awareness to these subtle goings on…not intellectually, necessarily…consciously.

One does not intellectualize one’s relationship with nature. One feels oneness, kinship, wholeness with nature. It is a complete, holistic, conscious knowing. It is an expansive knowledge which may inform the intellect, certainly, but is not the product of deductive reasoning or any rational cognitive function whatsoever. Quite the contrary, love of nature is for all intents and purposes quite irrational at times (as so many examples of love, selflessness, altruism, self-sacrifice, etc. are).

This, then, is the realm of growth. A microbiologist can assert quite rationally that the process of growth is 100% mechanical—for instance, in the case of a bacterium)—and that cell division and reproduction happen like clockwork, causing the growth of a bacterial culture.

And what of the medium? What of the environment? The ecosystem? They observe how bacterial colonies change and adapt their growth according to changes in their environment; but do they comprehend that the same phenomenon is taking place on more subtle, energetic levels? No, their mindset is fixed on a materialistic mechanical understanding and so they remain fixated on theories which support and perpetuate said mindset.

At Genesis, we—like Dr. Dweck—are saddened by “wasted potential.” That is why we promote the integration of ecosystems into the education and support of humanity. If we know nothing else, we know this: nature has been around for a lot longer than our materialistic science and technology; and, that it will continue long after we are gone.

Whereas our mechanical monstrosities and fixations with what “lasts forever” in our minds will be long gone, nature’s intelligent cycles of constant change will continue—evolving into new and wonderful and surprising versions of themselves—giving rise to new and incredible creations.

We can choose to be a part of such a fantastic future…we can choose to truly grow. Or, we can choose to cling to our fixations—fixed mindsets—and go obsolete along with all our precious gadgets.


A quick shout out to Nature Daily.

Thanks for picking up PeapodLife’s blog post from last Thursday, 21st of August, Mission Blue: CODE RED - New Relationship with Nature Required!

Image (Screenshot ): PeapodLife: Mission Blue: CODE RED New Relationship with Nature Required!
Shared by Genesis Eco Fund from The Nature Daily
Source: The Nature Daily Science Top Stories Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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