Toward a Psychology of Goodness

“…Evil is that force, residing either inside or outside of human beings that seeks to kill life or liveliness and goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.”—M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie

My dear friends and family,

In his epic book, People of the Lie, the legendary Scott Peck discusses the psychology of evil and his hope for healing it. After a recent experience I had in being labeled myself, I’ve been inspired to flip the title of one of his chapters, Toward a Psychology of Evil, and take a look at the goodness side of things, instead.

We have discussed these pivotal times previously, and the wide crevasse that seems to be broadening across the world due to various positions on this or that—political or otherwise. I recently had a jarring personal experience with that divisiveness, which shocked me to the core.

I’ve led a variety of groups over the years, among which was one I called Conscious Conversations. I continue to miss connecting with many of the folks who were regulars. That group disbanded a few years ago after it had run its course, though I’ve kept up with many of the members, one of whom I considered to be a dear friend. She joined our meetings shortly after she moved here, now nearly 15 years ago, and all of us extended ourselves to make her feel welcome.

She stopped returning my calls a number of months ago. The last time I reached out to her, I inquired if I’d done something to offend her, baffled by her radio silence. No response. I’d been ghosted. That was nearly six months ago. When I happened to run into her at the summer Farmer’s Market, I once again asked, “Have I done something to offend you?” “Yes,” she responded coldly. “When you told me who you were voting for (a mistake I will not be inclined to make again), I put you in his category. He is evil and anyone who voted for him is evil too.”

Now then, this is a woman, who (by her report) has been a spiritual querent for much of her life, including a longtime student of The Course in Miracles which, for those of you who aren’t acquainted with the material, is all about forgiveness and tolerance. Furthermore, she considers herself to be a guide for others, and is paid handsomely for it.
I have to say, following this experience I have felt more distress about the state of things, although steady in my faith. I know there is a way through all of this craziness.

Rather than wallow in any woefulness triggered by another, don’t we have to forge ahead and count our blessings? Here’s one: On the very same day as the unfortunate encounter described above, I had an experience with someone that was all about “life and liveliness.” While walking up the mountain a couple of days ago on a hike I do routinely, I developed something akin to altitude sickness, which I have never had in my 20 years of living at 8000 feet above see level. Somehow, I made it home (by the grace of God). Just before arriving, I ran into my neighbor—a doctor with whom I am only barely acquainted. Without hesitation, he dropped everything to examine me, following up later in the day and the next morning.

There is goodness everywhere, happening all the time in a multitude of ways. In my opinion, all we really have to do to overcome this “evil spell” that seems to have been casting a shadow on human nature for few thousand years, is to notice goodness when it occurs, and then pay it forward. You in?

Yah. That’s what I’m talkin about.

Believing in you…


PS. I am over the moon excited to announce that the latest version of Self Belonging will be published before summer’s end, together with a handbook, to accompany the material. Stay tuned for updates! My work is all about emphasizing a manifesto on the Psychology of Goodness. Thank you for being a part of our tribe!

Owning Our Core Independence

As we approach the fourth of July and all the day represents, I was inspired to re-read the Declaration of Independence. This incredible document was fought for and brilliantly designed by brave and brilliant souls, who risked their lives so that each and every one of us would have the freedom to pursue happiness on the path of our choosing. I hope you’re inspired to read it this weekend as a tribute to our enlightened ancestors.

As these courageous ones stated, a government that should attempt any form of power and control over us and those inalienable rights of ours must be overthrown. And since, at the moment, we are the most advanced nation on Earth (despite the obvious shenanigans by some), isn’t it our moral imperative to be hypervigilant and alert to any plots by those who may be more interested in stripping us of our Constitutional rights than upholding them? Isn’t it our civic duty to protect ourselves, together with innocents elsewhere who are being persecuted and denied the freedoms that every human on this planet should enjoy?

I recently read a disturbing article in the Epoch Times published in June, 2021. (In my view we must peruse various publications with differing positions in order to sort out the truth and expose what’s really going on in the world). According to this piece, Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong Continues in China, by Shi Ming, the Chinese Communist party launched a systematic elimination campaign in 1999 against those who participate in the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, which persists to the present time. The practice includes meditation and moral teachings that propagate compassion and tolerance. The following is an example of the savagery and torture that is being perpetrated on Falun Gong practitioners, apparently documented in reports that Ming uncovered:

Li Shunjiang, an engineer in Qiqihar in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Provence, died in his early 50’s on May 20. He had been imprisoned twice since 2001 and spent a total of twelve years incarcerated, where he was tortured by prison guards. As a result, he suffered severe plural effusion with excessive fluid buildup in his lungs and chest cavity. He died after his release in poor condition, while caring for his wife and mother in law, who were in dire states after being persecuted—his wife had become mentally ill after three years in prison, and his mother in law was paralyzed and bedridden after four years in prison.

What has caused the human race to deteriorate to the degree that these merciless acts could be happening even as I write these words? Some theorists believe that approximately 10,000 years ago, following a time of peace and tranquility, that the earth and its inhabitants suffered some sort of physical catastrophe, hurling us back into survival mode where we are at repeated risk for intolerance and hatred rather than compassion and love. It would appear that remnants of that way of operating have persisted to the present.

By some act of amazing serendipity, while re-visiting a journal entry I wrote during a retreat in India 15 years ago, I found I’d made note of a book recommended by another participant. I am currently immersed in this fascinating read. For me the late author, Joseph Chilton Pearce, through his breakthrough work The Biology of Transcendence, weaves together many of my own findings on the connection between science and spirituality—and how understanding the combination of both can serve to strengthen the parts of our anatomy that are pre-wired for catapulting us into more optimal ways of operating.

In a key section of the book titled, The Great Accusation, Pearce notes:

“Civilizations that experienced no warfare—and so, possibly no violence—may have existed some ten thousand or so years ago. Consider the Harapi, an apparently advanced and civilized people whose cities and towns stretched from the Ural Mountains to present-day India long before the Egyptian and Middle East civilizations appeared. Excavations show that these orderly communities used common dimensions and weights and brick of the same dimension and laid out cities on the same symmetrical ground plan. In addition, they all had running water, underground sewage, and a form of common food storage. And as far as can be determined, they had no weaponry of any kind, and throughout the whole vax complex
there are no signs of warfare have occurred. I am told that recent excavations in China have unearthed statuary, apparently of ancient sages, that depict individuals with extraordinarily pronounced prefrontal lobes, a phenomenon that probably can take place only in a prolonged era of peace and tranquility.”

Isn’t it ironic that Pearce’s findings, suggesting an advanced civilization, seemed to have occurred in the very country that some believe may be attempting to systematically take over today’s world? According to some theorists, they are doing so in an effort to seize control over our beloved planet and sequester all of its inhabitants as their servants, perpetuating a master/slave paradigm—on steroids.

Over the course of the past 15 months or so (March, 2020 through June, 2021), we, as an entire species, have not only witnessed but become immersed in a field of horrors—different from the physical calamity described earlier that may have taken place thousands of years ago, though possibly having similar effects. This particular catastrophe is associated with conditions related to a virus that has attacked human bodies, the origin of which at this writing has not been fully disclosed, but no doubt known by a select few. The epidemic of terror and divisiveness that’s all but overtaken our species as a result of fear-mongering and propaganda may actually be worse than the actual physical malady that ignited this wildfire of panic in the first place. This of course is a supposition, which neither I nor any of us not privy to classified information can substantiate with facts. Nonetheless, the entire uncanny debacle could more than likely have a future post-traumatic effect on our entire species, as global catastrophes have for centuries. The key is what we together are willing to allow (or not)—and if we decide to reclaim our humanity.

So, how can we stop or prevent a human nose-dive altogether—not making anyone wrong, or projecting blame on this person, political party, government—this country or that? In so doing, don’t we have to take responsibility ourselves for our own lives, our own growth, our own happiness, and our own advancement into our most optimal potential? In my view, after following the leadership of spiritual avatars in various traditions and researching human behavior and consciousness for over 30 years, owning our core independence and polishing up our personal character and consciousness is the only way to save ourselves and the beloved planet.

Pearce goes on to say that after the time-frame in which the Harapi lived and dwelled among us, our species has “struggled in a sea of its own blood and carnage for several thousand years. An evolutionary advance of mind and spirit can be lost when our species retreats into survival mode—sufficient hindbrain bought at the price of forebrain.” (If something catastrophic did, indeed, occur a few thousand years ago—throwing our species into a tail-spin, we most certainly can’t afford to let it happen again.)

Good news: Pearce says, “ …evolution is always on the prowl, looking for an opportunity to shift us into a higher mode of functioning.” And if that is so, isn’t it up to us, one by one, to increase the capacity of our frontal lobes—diminishing the effects of the hind-brain (or survival brain), and repeatedly being “on the prowl” personally and collectively for ways to advance the human race into a complete and total upgrade? I absolutely know that it is entirely possible and within our bandwidth to restore tolerance and respect for our differences and uphold love and compassion as the fundamental operative in our lives.

Be the change you want to see in the world—Gandhi

As the wise authors of the preamble to the Constitution state:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Do consider strengthening whatever spiritual practices most serve you and those you love in order to support your personal distance from any hindbrain overload you may be experiencing—such as fear, anxiety, stress, anger—etc. Rupert Sheldrake, renowned British biologist’s theory, popularized by Malcom Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point, suggests that when a certain number of beings of a particular species agree and participate in altering their behavior in consistent ways—like repeatedly practicing acts of loving kindness no matter what—that at some juncture any particular collective of creatures can and will tip the entire group into a radically new way of operating.

Ready to participate in the experiment?

Believing in you!
Love, Luann
July, 2, 2021

P.S. Please stay tuned for the updated version of Self Belonging, coming soon, and also an accompanying handbook for both Happily Ever After…Right Now and Self from which excerpts for this piece were taken.