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The bamboo uses its flexibility to bend with change. A few years ago, a great hurricane blew across southern Florida—Hurricane Andrew. Trees were uprooted. Houses were blown down. The news cameras panned over the area to show the devastation. Every palm, palmetto, and oak tree had been leveled, but the camera showed one small clump of bamboo that had survived. The oak trees, even with their massive strength, didn't survive. The bamboo did.

The flexible strength survived; the inflexible strength perished. It is a lesson. In a world where things are changing rapidly, flexibility is a better survival strategy than force. Individual consciousness can take on either the qualities of the oak or the qualities of the bamboo.

Prologue: Birth of the Age of Data

It can be empty and flexible, or it can be solid and unbending. In most cases, it starts out flexible and then hardens over time. What is it that hardens consciousness into inflexible viewpoints? Some people will say it is the suffering caused by the world. But no matter how much you change the world, it does not make your consciousness any more flexible.

So what is it that leads to inflexible viewpoints? Two things: Transgressions-Kept-Secret and hidden agendas. A transgression is an instance of breaking a law, or breaking an agreement, or vioutf8g a social standard, or vioutf8g your own values. It is damaging something you have agreed to protect. Examples of TKS are robbing a bank, cheating on your marriage partner, spray painting graffiti on a public building, or acting in a manner that is contrary to your own conscience.

There are lots of possible transgressions and, until you achieve sainthood, it is expected that you will commit transgressions occasionally —if only by accident. When your transgression is not kept secret, it is called a mistake. If someone tells you that they have not committed any transgressions, realize you are talking to either a saint or a liar. Human beings make mistakes. They are supposed to. That's how they learn. Human knowledge is the product of mistakes. It is only when the mistakes are hidden or become intentional as in a hidden agenda that they lead to inflexible viewpoints.

A hidden agenda is really a strategy someone has for committing, or continuing to commit, a selfishly motivated transgression.

It is an intentionally damaging action. This is the phenomenon that moralists call evil, or that the Buddhist would say is a karma incurring act. A Transgression-Kept-Secret is kept secret because of shame or fear of disapproval or punishment. A hidden agenda is kept secret because the person intends to commit or repeat a transgression. There is little, if any, shame involved in a hidden agenda. To the contrary, there is often what could even be called a criminal pride. The major difference between Transgressions-Kept-Secret and hidden agendas is that in the latter, there is only a slow recognition of the damaging actions.

Hidden agendas are often concealed behind pseudo-righteous identities pretending humanitarian motives. Here are the principle elements that lead to an inflexibility of viewpoint, to a hardening of consciousness, to what one Wizard so aptly described as zombie-consciousness. How can they be healed? When a person commits a transgression, the first question they are often asked is: "Why did you do it? Nobody can answer it truthfully. You are asking them to make up an explanation for why they are not source.

Lie to me. I want to hear it. The explanation won't change anything.


The explanation won't teach anybody anything. And the explanation, no matter how good it sounds, won't prevent them from doing it again. You might as well answer "Why? Do you know the biggest reason why I think you keep your transgressions secret? You are afraid that someone is going to ask you, "Why did you do it? And you don't really, honestly have a clue. So if you are asked, you are going to have to commit a second transgression of lying to explain the first transgression.

Do you want to know what causes the amount of Transgressions-Kept-Secret in a society to rise? Because the society becomes focused on, "Why did you do it? They are word-lessons that eventually drown one's free will in some predetermined drama of causes and effects. The increase in hidden agendas, on the other hand, is a symptom of media and educational systems that are focused on indoctrination rather than on enlightenment. The root cause of a hidden agenda is always some form of social indoctrination that condones selfish, intolerant, or irresponsible behavior.

Are you ready for some relief? I don't care what you did or why you did it. Just fix it, and let's get on with it. Which brings me to the most important point. If you block out everything else I've said, remember this: It is how you handle a transgression that is important, not why you did it.

The wrong way to handle a transgression is to hide it, or to justify it, or to deny it. These are the actions hiding, justifying and denial that harden consciousness into an inflexible identity.

A new age of enlightenment? | The British Academy

Hardened consciousness projects a reality that can be viewed only in one way. Would you make them? So now you know who hardened your consciousness. You did—with the primaries that you made to keep your transgressions a secret. If you hide, justify, or deny a transgression, you seldom learn anything useful, but handling transgressions can lead to the most important world-lessons of life—courage, discretion, tolerance, compassion and forgiveness, i.

How the Enlightenment Ends

The lessons you learn from handling a transgression frequently motivate genuine humanitarian endeavors. It is returning to source and dropping all the justification. The person who has to be satisfied and feel that the sacrifice is equal to the damage done is YOU. If there is a disagreement as to what fair amends might be, consult a neutral party. If amends are undertaken to restore your status in a group, the adopted codes of the group or the general expectations of the members must be satisfied.

A successful amends results in personal realizations that create a desire to change one's transgressive behavior. That is the "reform" part. In this stillness you intuitively know the direction in which your happiness and continued growth lay. And even if it means leaving your comfort zone, this is the direction in which you should steer. These are the steps of an enlightened justice procedure. They can apply only to people who desire to restore their own personal integrity. You can't legitimately force them onto another.

They are a gift of opportunity. Whether or not they should be done, and how they are done, is determined by a person's own sense of what is honorable. When done sincerely, they restore a happy life. You notice that punishment does not enter the picture. Honest people —people who are sincere about their own spiritual development and enlightenment—do not require punishment to correct their transgressions. Once you experience the power of freedom that comes from completely handling the self-disempowering aspects of a Transgression-Kept-Secret, you will never hide one again.

If you would not intentionally cripple your body with heavy shackles, why would you cripple your mind with fears of being found out? The steps are easy: 1 I'm really sorry. An often asked question: I know it's best to make up the damage I have done to the person I have done it to, but what if the person has died? The answer: You can still make it up by performing a genuine humanitarian service.

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Your own intuition will tell you when your debt is paid. People who mistake or can't recognize their own intuitive guidance have not completed steps 1, 2 and 3. Their spiritual growth is self-limited. Hidden agendas range from a desire to fulfill selfish interests at the expense of others to mean-spirited evil that intentionally causes misery to others. For the most part, the more destructive the hidden agenda, the more likely the person lacks the necessary sense of honor to self-correct.

They justify their actions and leave people in confusion. They are difficult to understand, because there is so much that they are not saying. What they say and what they do may be completely opposite. Anytime an individual, or especially a group, undertakes something, they must have a means of identifying and restraining the nonaligned person with a hidden agenda. Otherwise the enterprise is likely to be sabotaged. Many company failures can be traced to a single person who was operating with a hidden agenda.

When you are responsible for steering a group endeavor, the wrong way to handle a person with a hidden agenda is to tolerate them. This is one of the few times in life when tolerance leads to a worsened situation.

People with hidden agendas should be confronted and given a brief opportunity to align; otherwise they should be invited to leave. If they are unwilling to leave, their intentions and the consequences of their intentions should be frankly and openly questioned by the group. A person's hidden agendas will resolve only when they are completely capable of handling their Transgressions-Kept-Secret. If you discover that you have a hidden agenda, the best thing you can do is to openly and honestly align it with the purpose, means, and values of the group's stated agenda.

This requires some discussion, possibly some compromises, and enough mental flexibility to predict broader consequences and see all viewpoints. Differences in viewpoints, purposes, and goals are destructive to a group only when they are hidden. Diversity can actually strengthen a group, but it must be a matter of common knowledge, rather than a hidden influence. And looking ahead, we will seek to expand our outreach not least by our growing social media presence and via an improved website — which must represent a priority for the Academy over the coming year.

We have played a leading part in providing evidence-based contributions to the Government, and not just the Brexit briefings. As a politically independent Academy, we have also engaged with the main opposition parties.

The Six Stages of Enlightenment and the Path to Self-Actualization

We continue to work closely with the other national Academies to press the case for continued UK involvement in the European research funding arrangements [note 6], post-Brexit and we were pleased that the Prime Minister recently backed this position. More widely, we engage around the world in USA, India, China and Japan and elsewhere — not least via our network of international Corresponding Fellows. We are fortunate to have such a strong and committed Fellowship in the UK and overseas.

This year we will elect a record number of UK Fellows: I hope that we will continue to show an increasing diversity in the background of the Fellowship, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, subject and geographical spread — but all still elected on the grounds of the overriding criterion of excellence. It has been a real personal privilege to work alongside and in support of him. He has shown enormous energy and commitment to his role, building on the achievements of his predecessor, Lord Stern. The President also referred, in his article, to the importance of securing the future of the British Academy at Carlton House Terrace.

This will be a personal aim for me, and one that I hope to deliver in the coming year. We are now embarking on a major project to fund, develop and expand our base at Carlton House Terrace to ensure it remains the thriving centre of our disciplines, and the hub of intellectual debate and research, for many years to come. I am delighted that it looks — at least at the time of going to print with this issue of the British Academy Review — as if we will be successful in that venture. My job is to lead the executive staff of the Academy — which I am enormously proud to do.

We have some wonderful members of staff who work in the Academy in support of our Fellowship. My vision is to provide a coherent framework for research and innovation which firmly celebrates the humanities and the social sciences and their central relevance and contribution to all we do. It will not only promote a more dynamic and productive economy, but also a more cohesive community. It will shape a future based on evidence, reflection and analysis. And it will offer the potential, I believe, for a new age of enlightenment — and one led by the British Academy.

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