Q & R: Systems inside us …

Here’s the question:

Hello Brian,
You must get hundreds of these emails, so I’m guessing that you are overwhelmed and wanting more ease and freedom to do other things?
I just finished reading “everything must change” after having read and loved “The Secret Message of Jesus”. I have been moved and excited after reading both books, as much of what you say and the style in which you say things seems to resonate as true for me.
I am wanting to contribute to the continuing dialog encompassed by your work as it applies to my passion, which is the use of language for the purpose of connection between people. In your book “everything must change”, you describe three systems as if they are external to us — which they are — but there is something about those systems which also lives within each one of us. You and I were created with a need for security, a need for equity and a need to consider each other’s needs and share in the joy of meeting them (i.e. prosperity). While I do believe that the three systems you present are real, I realized that there are others, which not only help us to meet our basic survival needs, but there are ones that help us to live life to its fullest! A couple of examples are “Beauty,” “Learning” and “Community”. As a society, we have built tremendous infrastructures around those needs, and they influence how we live and share life on the planet.
So, the systems outside of us have formed because we were created with something within us that requires fulfillment in order to sustain life and to enjoy a life lived to overflowing. In my discipline of compassionate communication, I strive to bring these internal “heart needs” outside and directly into dialog as a means of connection. “Connection” is a something special which happens as empathy and honesty are present in a dialog…
I hope that you are intrigued by what I have said so far. I would enjoy hearing if anything I have said has stimulated something within you.

Response after the jump …

Great points. I fully agree … these systems actually begin inside us individually … and then are manifested outside of us socially. (I suppose the opposite is simultaneously true – that these systems exist socially and then we internalize them … we’re socialized into them.)
The way I tried to acknowledge that reality in the book was by emphasizing desire. Our internal desires for security, equity, and prosperity are all good desires, and those good desires, compounded among millions of people, become the fuel for our societal machinery. In this way, society and its institutions are the externalized form of our desires. Here, I suppose we’re both thinking in line with Augustine and Aquinas: evil always must deform and distort something good. It is devoid of creative, constructive power – it only has the power to corrupt, deform, or destroy.
I love your idea about there being beauty, learning, and community systems as well. It seems to me that this is what Jesus tries to do … he inspires a band of friends to be a community of beauty, learning, and mutual care, and then sends them out to multiply these communities to be healing systems throughout the cultures/systems of our world. Thanks for your contribution to the conversation!