Most Important Change You And I Can Make, In The Way We Think – Insights from the Wilderness #249

There is an old adage that says “If you want to change the world, begin by changing yourself.” When you change the way you think, a miraculous transformation takes place. The entire Universe changes.

If we want to achieve happiness, success, and meaning in life, we need to know about the most important change we can make in the way we think; the most important change you and I can make to change our world.

In fact, if we don’t learn how to make this change, we will fail to achieve the happiness we would like, and future generations are going to have some very critical things to say about us.

And no, I am not overstating its importance. In fact, I don’t think overstating its importance is even possible.

Before I tell you about the most important change we can make in our thinking, let’s first take a brief look at why the change is so important and so needed.

Why The Most Important Change Is Needed

First: we live in an amazing Universe. A Universe the human mind can’t even begin to imagine. We live on a planet that is overflowing with life and other living beings. A miracle of evolution. Yet our educational systems are designed to train and encourage our children to compete successfully in an economic system that is based on greed and the illusion of unlimited economic expansion. An economic system that “sees” our planet as an “it.” An economic system that is exploiting the resources of the natural world at the expense of future generations, and rapidly destroying the ecology of our planet in the process.

Our unwillingness to share the wealth created by our global economic system reflects little to no regard for the rights of other humans. It is creating hunger and suffering for billions of other human beings in emerging countries…….and all but ignores the rights of other living beings that co-exist with us on our small and fragile planet.

We teach our children the importance of unending work, getting ahead, the importance of striving, and the importance of making money. But we fail to teach them where our food comes from, or how to grow and harvest the food they eat. We fail to create in our children a sense of sacred respect for their planetary“home”. A sense of “awe” for the living Universe, or the living planet that birthed them and continues every day to sustain them.

Given how many children grow up never having walked in a forest, or how many children that have never been outside the lights of a city to see the stars and the amazing Universe above their heads, it’s clear we are not doing a good job helping them build a deep and respectful relationship with the natural world.

They are not being taught the incredible Great Evolutionary Story Of Our Universe, and as a result, too many of our children are unable to “see” or experience a sense of wonder for the 13.7 billion years of evolution it took for them to exist.

But the most important change in the way we think could help change all that.

Second: The separateness of things is an illusion created by the primitive ego of our childhood consciousness. We teach our children to see things that exist independently from other things, in other words, to see everything as an object that is compared with other objects. We teach them to understand things and how things work, but we fail to teach them about the relationships that exist between things. The relationship between them and a tree for example, or a honey bee, or a forest. They grow up without the knowledge that everything in the Universe is a unique thing or holon that exists in relationship with everything else in the Universe. The concept that anything can exist separate from other things in the universe is a dangerous illusion.

But the most important change in the way we think could help change all that.

Third: We teach our children whatever they can dream about they can achieve. All they have to do is work hard. Too often, we fail to teach them the concept that our survival as living beings depends on the relationships we have the natural world, and other living beings. We need to teach our children that they can work toward their dreams, but only if they consider and honor the rights of others, and the rights of other living beings in the process.

A good way to accomplish that goal is by teaching our children about negative feedback systems or the law of limits.

Without negative feedback, everything would expand to infinity and self-destruct. Learning the law of limits begins by helping children understand that their childhood primitive ego always wants to be right. So when someone disagrees with them, our children need to understand that the disagreement is simply negative feedback in action; a negative feedback to the belief that they are always “right.”

Negative feedback is necessary to create balance in the world. Over time, negative feedback and the law of limits will help our children understand the reality that no-one is smart enough to be right…..or wrong…. all the time. And that includes them. Over time, they will learn the importance of always intentionally searching for the truths on both sides of every issue; the thesis and the antithesis.

Most importantly, we need to teach our children the imperative need for growth in human consciousness, and especially growth in their own self-awareness. Only self-awareness will give them the ability to embrace self-imposed limits or negative feedback on their own greed, actions, wants, desires, and rights. They need to grow up with the understanding that humanity’s unlimited greed and narcissistic focus on “self” so prevalent in our world today, has to have negative feedback loops.

Because without negative feedback in humanity’s collective consciousness, we will never be a species that limits its capacity for greed, or learns to protect the natural world; and all of the other living beings that share the planet with us. Our children need to learn that how they think matters. How they think will determine the actions and choices they make in their relationships with others, and the relationships they will have with future generations.

The most important change in the way we think could help them embrace that kind of wisdom.

Fourth: We need to teach our children that our world’s economic system is broken, and currently functioning without effective negative feedback systems. It is based on greed and the dangerous illusion that unlimited economic expansion (the illusion that any system can survive without natural negative feedback systems) is actually possible. We need to teach them the reality that our economic system cannot exist much longer as it is currently structured and functioning.

We are not living in a way that demonstrates to our children the reality that they, and every human on the planet, are totally dependent on the natural world for their very survival. We expect the world to provide for us, but we are not teaching our children the evolutionary concept of mutual benefit.


We are not teaching them the reality that our greed based, global economic system; as it is currently functioning, is unable to give back for the mutual benefit of the planet, and the other living beings that share this world with us.

We are not teaching our children to honor the bottom line…..the concept that our economic system is destroying billions of years of evolutionary “progress”.

We must help our children recover the intimacy and sacredness we’ve lost with the natural world. We must teach them the importance of living in right relationship with the natural world, and recognize that humanity is evolution in action. The evolutionary impulse to “become” incarnate in the Universe is also inside them. They are an evolving part of an ever-evolving Universe that is clearly headed somewhere, and they need to be an active and fully conscious part of that 13.7 billion year story of cooperation and mutual benefit……..a conscious person in an awakened species that has learned to live in right relationship with nature and the natural world.

The most important change in the way we think could help them embrace that kind of wisdom.

The Most Important Change We Can Make In The Way Our Species Thinks

The most important change we need to make in the way humanity thinks is very simple. It’s simply letting go of our childhood primitive ego’s illusion that we are a unique “self” or being separate from the rest of the planet we live on….or the Universe.

We are not.

We have to teach our children that they are not a separate “i” from the rest of reality.

Until their “i” consciousness becomes transformed into a “we” consciousness, they will continue to “see” and experience everything in the world as an “other”…….a reality that sadly, so many of us grow up believing is true.

This dangerous illusion of separateness creates in us the belief that everything in the created Universe is just one more separate “other” object. An “other” object to which we are not connected. This belief that we are somehow separate from the rest of the world is responsible for the creation of the “us” vs. “them” thinking that is currently creating so much judgment, conflict, and violence in the world.

The “us” vs. “them (other)” relationship we have with “other” humans shut down our ability for compassion and empathy so effectively, humans were able to kill 100 million “other” humans in the 20th century; a number we are well on our way to repeating or exceeding in the 21st century. Bombing “others” lacks meaning until those “others” become real human beings; a connected “thou” relationship with our human brothers and sisters.

Using “us’ vs. ‘them” thinking we can experience our planet as a separate object called “it”….. rather than a conscious, living entity. A sacred “thou” relationship with our planet would enable us to better manifest compassion and empathy for our earth mother and the other living being that share this planet with us. The impersonal “it” relationship we currently have with our planet is driving the survival of the human species toward crisis. Our living planet is not an “it” to be exploited.

Our Children Need To Grow Up Knowing They Are Intimately Connected With Earth And The Universe

All of the items listed above illustrate the need for our children to see themselves as part of a collective “we” or “us.” Not a “self” or “i”/“me” that is somehow totally separate from the rest of the universe. We need to help them understand how intimately connected and dependent we are with the natural world and the rest of humanity.

“Us” vs. “them” thinking only creates the dangerous, judgmental categories of “other” that keep all of us emotionally blind to the rights and needs of others. It destroys our capacity for empathy and compassion. And it is the root source of the conflict and violence in our relationships with those around us; both personally and globally.

This radical discontinuity between “self ” and the rest of creation only creates and supports human greed, the never ending self-focus on me and mine, and all the judgmental categories of “other” that creates so much conflict and violence.

In other words, only changing the way we think, from a separate “i” to a collective “we” can help us change all that. It is far and away the most important change our species needs to make in the way we think. Until we do, we will continue our unconscious march toward crisis and self-destruction.


The belief that we are a separate “i” from the rest of reality and creation is the most dangerous illusion ever created by our human species. No other belief even comes close.

If the future of our species, our planet, our nation, our own personal lives, the lives of our children and the lives of our grandchildren matter, then we have to change the way we think from a separate “i” to a collective “we.” We don’t have a choice. This change in thinking has to happen. And it has to happen soon.

Without a separate “i”, greed would cease to exist, and the concept of greed would no longer have meaning for our human species. We could begin to create a new and more evolved economic system; a system in which greed is somehow replaced by values of mutuality and compassion; a system that embraces the concept of cooperation and mutual benefit.

A global economic system and collective human consciousness that could indeed change the world…..because how we think does matter.

Dick is an avid reader and has a large library of books that he loves. We have put together a list of some of his favorites. Visit our Amazon page for a list of suggested books.
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