Stephen's blog

Good systems thinking

I was dialoguing with members of a "systems thinking" group who it seems are all left-brained, mechanical-universe thinkers who believe that there's no metaphysical dimension to life. It's all just physical stuff.

Consider some stuff

I often hear of, or run across people who espouse all sorts of ... well, quite frankly, incoherent, silly ideas and beliefs.

Here's a few ideas that might reset standard thinking.


Consider some "stuff" of which the entirety of existence is composed. Not physical, not even necessarily spiritual. Let's just call it "stuff", or if you like, "energy" or better yet, "energy-stuff" (in light of Einstein's E=MC2 that matter is energy and vice versa, so "energy-stuff" accounts for both matter and energy).

Now, this "energy-stuff" is, by definition, literally everywhere, in everything, everyone one, every thought, God, Evil ... it's literally everywhere. In fact there is no place it is not. Given its ubiquity, we can say it is "one-energy-stuff"1.

If we want to believe that some spiritual beings or others are not composed of this one-energy-stuff, we need ask of what they are made. Whatever that is, it will ultimately need to be made of said "one-energy-stuff" in that said one-energy-stuff is the ground energy of all existence. No exceptions.

Now it gets interesting.

Men are particles, women are waves

Update (August, 2016) - see latest regarding the dynamics of gender

When writing Be and Become during the latter half of the 90's, the various revisions of the manuscript1 included chapter (Nine) titled as "Men are particles, women are waves".

However, prior to publication I had the thought (contrary to my better instincts) that the chapter would best be titled differently, to what is now "Material men, wonderful women". It was, I thought, less likely to be dismissed as 'stereotyping' people, even though I felt at ease with the "Men are particles ..." title.  "Men are particles, women are waves" quite adroitly and succinctly expresses the inherent dynamics of life towards individualism, and collectivism -- men and male animals do (as a general rule!) bias themselves towards the hard, physical, individualistic side to life (characteristic of particles). Women do bias themselves towards the soft, interconnective, cooperative, relationship side to life (characteristic of waves and fields).


Hardly -- walk down any street asking everyone encountered their occupation.  Then note the gender percentages of those in the 'hard-sciences', engineering and Information Technologies, compared with those in care services, humanities and communications.

The bias is not because men or women are 'pushed' into the various professions, or due to restrictions such as 'glass ceilings'. There's been plenty of attempts to get more women into IT, but they simply just aren't as interested ... as a GENERAL rule!. Yes, there's always exceptions, but we're talking 'bias' in numbers, of percentages, not of exceptions.

Are you a REAL doctor?

[Note: "Are you a REAL doctor?" was posted on the previous '' website and is reposted here, for consistency of links.]

To be a superlative Belief Doctor one must remain 'outside' and independent of the belief-systems being analysed, in order to be unhindered and free to look with fresh eyes at the assumptions and beliefs that are routinely accepted as 'fact'.

For example, in being a scientist I would almost certainly believe, like the vast majority of scientists, that physical movement was perfectly continuous and contiguous (comprising an infinite-series of "infinitesimal" increments). However, in being free from any need to abide by that root assumption (which is wrong), a good belief doctor can develop and espouse theories that actually fit the facts, as is covered in the post "The Modern Superstitions of Science and Religion" and elsewhere on this site.1

Likewise, being free of the need to believe in various religious doctrines, a good belief doctor can see the contextual nature of religion (being a product of the childhood of humanity) and offer more holistic views that accommodate both quantum theory and indigenous belief-systems.

The same applies to issues around gender. A competent belief doctor, despite accepted sociological theories, will easily "marry" the seemingly opposite characteristics of "feminine" and "masculine" with such efficacy that neither sex then need blame or scorn the other.

And a competent belief doctor will easily see the errors in, and failings of various new-age or spiritual traditions.

As a result when I'm asked if I'm actually a doctor (presumably most ask in terms of my being a medical doctor) I answer a resounding "NO, definitely not!" (for the above reasons).

Moreover to have a doctorate (or confirm publicly any qualification) would send the wrong message to those who need a new, empowering world-view. And that message is:

'You don't need anyone's permission, certificate or grade-mark to enjoy health, wellbeing and fulfillment. Your 'internal guidance system' - your inner knowing - is your highest authority. By all means get advice from others, and gain whatever qualifications are needed to operate the machinery of life (be it scalpel, jumbo jet or whatever) but for the important stuff, learn to trust yourself and go your own way. Forge your own path, be intuitive, perceptive and creative. We are each our own authority.'

If I deserve any authority it is because of the power and congruency of my ideas, and their efficacy, not on some external credential. But even then I'd be cautious and reserved about accepting any such authority, even for the 'right' reasons.

Historically we've been in a child-like state, culturally speaking - looking up to "higher" authority. We're not grown-ups, spiritually speaking, at least not yet.  We're culturally habituated to follow, and to not creatively and powerfully lead our own lives, without much care for what the neighbours might think.

When I suggest to people to "lead God" many are shocked by the sheer audacity of such an idea. They're deeply shocked by the sacrilege. But the idea of "leading God" is simple common sense ... in that God must be the All of all of us,2 and cannot be anything less, so when like children we are genuinely, spontaneously creative we lead our parents, our friends, family, and the community ... and God. That's what we call genuine creativity, when the whole of creation in effect looks on in wonderment (for where else is such wonderment to be sourced, if not within each of us).

The ultimate authority, one that could be described as a meta-authority is the creativity to forge new paths, to break new ground, to illuminate the way with our light, and to add to creation, not merely be passive, lame, "God fearing" recipients of it.

Timeless knowledge

Voices of the dayWhile visiting a friend in Barkandji Country (Aboriginal country around Wilcannia, and along the Darling River), I was given a book "Voices of the first day", by Robert Lawlor. It contains concepts and ideas which are highly congruent with my basic model of The Theory of One and All that I intuited and explained in my book, BE and BECOME.

When researching materials to support the ideas in BE and BECOME I came across a number of leading physicists who voiced a more technical explanation: within certain bounds and constraints (via various 'lattice-works' or matrices, such as fractals), matter and energy is "plastic" — it can be molded or influenced with mind1. At this stage of our evolution it's not yet a noticeably large influence, but it's the principle that is important. It can be guided (again, within constraints), by virtue of the fact that all bits of matter and energy are 'instinctively choosing' to form the world we know.2 They 'instinctively choose' how to collapse the wave-function (collapse possibility into actuality -- see Fig. BI_RPA). As physicist Freeman Dyson explains:

Astrology, the Enneagram and Seth


In brief

The Table of comparisons highlights a noticeable difference between the 3 methods of classifications. Column 1 (Seth) responds well to the question: "Where do those who belong to a particular category focus their energy, time and commitment for best effect and fulfillment?"

The Enneagram responds "less directly" to this question (in that the Enneagram may offer insight that one is a 'leader' but not where to apply leadership for best effect or fulfillment).

Astrological categories provide little if any meaningful answers to this question.

Astrology and the Enneagram are not in the least "systems-orientated". They do not take account of the interactive dynamics of biological, ecological or social systems, such as that of one's local community, or how the global economy impacts and influences behaviours and attitudes. They do not therefore provide substantial insights into how we ought best interact with the world around us. They, in effect, offer little guidance as to where we might apply our energy and focus for best results and fulfillment.


Table comparison Seth Enneagram AstrologyThe fields and disciplines of psychological testing, astrology, numerology and the Enneagram, are, like all fields of human understanding, based on certain beliefs about the nature of reality.

So when we seek to group people into meaningful categories it's prudent to first establish the belief-system by which those categorisations are made. If the belief-system is unduly limited, individuals and groups will necessarily be categorised or 'squeezed' into various psychological or astrological 'boxes' to fit the observed behaviours. In the process those capabilities and potentials that lay beyond the accepted framework of belief — which could otherwise be recognised and developed for personal and social benefit — will be ignored or denied.

The urge to categorise

UR IIWhen we reflect on the number of people (more usually women1 ) who believe in Astrology, as well as those who believe in various other 'ologies' we can be reasonably confident that there's an underlying shared trait or need — the need to belong, and to categorise people.

Personality tests (e.g. DISC, or Myers-Briggs) are widely (if not almost universally) used to help decide who's suited to particular roles in businesses and organisations.

So when a friend started extolling the great relevance and benefit of understanding the Enneagram (a process of grouping people into one of nine types, or 'tribes'), I decided to look deeper into this particular habit.

The Belief Doctor’s approach

As explained on the About page, my focus as The Belief Doctor®1 is to work with people and provide examples and information that reveals the power and productive benefits gained from combining "masculine" and "feminine" energies in one coherent approach to life, in all areas of life. This combination — of effectively combining both 'head' with 'heart' to enable intimate, powerful and rewarding personal, business and social relationships — is recognised by leading thinkers as being crucial to ease, wellbeing, intimacy, creativity, productivity, innovation, health, wealth, fulfillment and happiness.

Rest-stops in the sky

[update, October, 2016: see below]

Over the years I've come to more fully appreciate the extent to which many people seek refuge in illusory ideals ... be it religious perfection, or scientific certainty.

As I've explained elsewhere on this and the Belief Institute website, the ideal of perfection (and of perfect scientific certainty) was born around the time of Plato, and has persisted ever since. In spiritual new-age teachings and practices, it's the seeking of spiritual perfection — of transcending one's ego and finding one's perfect higher self1; in religion it's the perfection of God and of the Pope's infallibility; in science it is the certainty and control of life expressed through some equation or theory, perhaps most tellingly exemplified by the incorrect and unsupportable assumptions surrounding the solutions to Zeno's Paradoxes that date back nearly 2,500 years.

The immense importance of understanding 'masculine' and 'feminine'

By coincidence I've only recently (namely, this morning) come across a 1991 paper by Prof. Robert Jahn of Princeton's famous1 PEAR laboratory.

Jahn's paper is quite extraordinary, at least for me, for it covers many of the basic concepts that I wrote about in my book Be and Become.2

One of the central points of Jahn's paper is that not understanding the complementarity of 'masculine' and 'feminine' fuels "immensely destructive" behaviours and results, both personally and socially. From Jahn's paper:

When posed in polar opposition, whether within a single personality, or in the context of the ubiquitous interactions between the male and the female sexes, the failures of this interface are legion, legendary, and immensely destructive, both personally and socially. Yet, when deployed in constructive complementarity, the masculine/feminine integration within the individual can enable the highest creativity and personal satisfaction, and in the male/female partnership can generate some of the highest accomplishments, profoundest insights, and most beautiful resonances of human existence. In this form, it is probably the species' most powerful resource for spiritual as well as physical survival and evolution.

Why I concur with Jahn is that the deeper nature of what 'feminine' and 'masculine' actually mean is not widely understood or appreciated.

  • 1. or infamous, according to skeptics and assorted naysayers. See my article on sceptics and their brethren
  • 2. I used to think that I was well ahead of other thinkers on the subject of the deep frameworks of life, but Jahn has demonstrated he largely got there first! I suppose my contribution is the comprehensiveness of my work, going well beyond that of Jahn's paper. Still, I freely give recognition when it is appropriate and deserved.