The 2014 World Technology Network Summit was an incredible amalgamation of some of the brightest minds in the world of science and tech. Curated by the chairman of the organization, James P. Clark, last year’s summit intended to bridge the gap between science and the spirit of the human experience by celebrating the notion of serendipity. Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way,” and it was serendipity which allowed me the opportunity to attend this event.
Guests included visionary artist Android Jones, actor LeVar Burton, author/adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, and American poet/cyberlibertarian John Perry Barlow. Incredibly, Edward Snowden also made an appearance through a live telecast. To be in a room with such power and brilliance was nothing short of humbling, and the ten key lessons I learned have forever changed my outlook on the prospects of our future.
1. “A naive dream is extremely powerful.” – Yossi Ghinberg
Yossi Ghinsberg is an Israeli adventurer, author, and speaker living in Australia, most known for having been lost alone in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon for three weeks and living to tell the tale. After enduring a harrowing experience filled with tragedy, the triumph of the human spirit allowed him to survive, and eventually thrive, in the years that followed. All odds worked against his favor, yet spirit endured and Yossi was able to manifest many miracles in his life. These miracles were realized through the power of “a naive dream.” The naive dreamer believes that the only option is for the dream to be fulfilled. There is no choice but the commitment to what you’re commanding in your life. “Impossible” only means I-M-Possible, and “No” only means “Next Option.”
2. “All innovation is conflict resolution.”
Through my own findings and understanding the universe is an ever expanding permanent impermanence which will always require a fusion of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Conflict, while troublesome, is only a test needing to be solved through inspiration and innovation. Human beings have the power to problem solve any task, no matter how daunting.
3. “Art is the barometer for culture of the time.” – Android Jones
As humanity evolves, art serves as the “screenshot” of the cultural “operating system” of the time. Art is a form of technology which helps to program the collective consciousness, to inspire vision through imagination. While the arts and the sciences are two different spectrums of innovation, both coexist on the same plane of consciousness, helping to form our reality for the present and for the future. Technological advancement can’t survive without the presence of artistic minds. Creativity is extremely important, now more than ever.
4. “No challenge we have that creativity can’t overcome.” – Android Jones
As stated in points 2 and 3, innovation and creativity go hand in hand in the journey forward towards conflict resolution. As long as we can focus on creation as a primary objective as opposed to merely just consumerism, we can overcome any obstacle the current paradigm presents to us.
5. “Have an objective to be a good ancestor.” – John Perry Barlow
Society creates pressure for us to be concerned with the here and now, with the future being collateral damage against our present happiness and satisfaction. Practicing mindfulness, and thinking about the impact of what your work will leave behind, is a key which will unlock the door to a better future for generations to come. Our time on this planet is precious, and how we use that time should be in dedication to creating something of everlasting value. When making all of your decisions, think about the impact you will create for your legacy; make a primary objective to not only be a conscious creator for the present, but also an important ancestor for the future.
6. “Wealth should not determine your educational options.” – Sarah McCue
The juxtaposition between conscious evolution and cultural degradation is a rather incongruous disparity. While we are living in the age of information, we are also living in an age of extreme polarity of wealth and poverty. Education is a privilege, but it’s also our right – a right which shouldn’t leave you thousands of dollars in debt, struggling to find a job that affords you to thrive rather than merely survive. Personal wealth should not determine your educational options, and education should not just be limited to obtaining a certificate from an institution. There are passionate people working hard to make the right to education obtainable for all walks of life. Dig deeper, don’t be discouraged, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of education. Trust that once you make a decision, the universe will conspire to provide you the best option necessary.
7. “We can only move forward if we can think/discuss freely.” – Edward Snowden
The founding fathers of our country knew the importance of freedom, hence The Constitution was created to ensure that we could carry that right throughout our journey forward in cultivating a life of liberty through the pursuit of happiness. Freedom of speech is our birthright, not just a right that was forged in the fire of the creation of the United States. With the Patriot Act, NSA surveillance, and other government programs, this right has been compromised and enveloped in the fear of “Big Brother” watching our every move. We must fight this fear with love, and we must be innovative in its resolution by finding unity throughout our global community. We can do this by empowering discussion rather than fearing the “elephant in the room.” Chinese wisdom teaches, “the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire,” so let adversity be the fuel that ignites change, allowing us to find the strength necessary to solidify our freedom instead of letting it continue to dissolve in ignorance.
8. “The greatest tragedy is revelation met with apathy.” – Edward Snowden
Gandhi had a famous quote which stated, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” When a revelation occurs, those who experience the revelation first hand wish to spread the gospel, a word which actually translates to “good news.” Unfortunately, not all ears are receptive to good news, as those who are closed minded may not believe in a gospel which doesn’t correspond to the reality they have created for themselves. While it is impossible to create someone else’s reality, it is not impossible to fight the good fight. Spread awareness through creativity and hold tightly to what you believe in, regardless of the preconceived notions of others. There was a time when it was believed by all that the world was flat, yet with time/research/perseverance that perception changed and reality took a new shape. The shape of things to come will only form into the paradigm we wish to create through perseverance, so don’t allow apathy to become a tragedy that discourages your passion.
9. “It is important to always ask yourself two key questions. What do I believe is right? What do I think is necessary?” – Jim Clark
Approaching the decisions you make using the Socratic method – the practice of stimulating critical thinking to illuminate ideas – is a tool which can help chisel a solid foundation upon which you can build the structure of your reality. Believing in what is right, in conjunction with what is necessary, allows decisions to be heart centered as opposed to primarily based in the mind (aka: ego). Ask yourself these two questions as you approach each decision, and let your heart be your guide.
10. “Believe in the power of serendipity.” – Jim Clark
As I began the article, and stated the power of serendipitous moments being an integral part of my path, so I end the article emphasizing the same statement. The universe is a paradox of tangible and intangible information, experience, and knowledge. Synthesizing the tangible with the intangible empowers your path as the actualized human being. Contrast is important to reach enlightenment, and science and spirit (intellect/intuition), while contrasting views, will always coexist. Through the acceptance of knowing you may never know it all, you will achieve your own personal “gnosis.” Express gratitude for the relationships that are formed from the invisible world of spirit, and allow these relationships to continue to illuminate your path through the inspiration, experience, and love they facilitate. The powers of love and gratitude, spirit and science, art and technology, imagination and innovation, triumph through tragedy, and creativity through conflict are the colors that make up the kaleidoscope of the human experience, and all contain a value that is immeasurable by monetary standards. Our lives are precious, and we ALL have important missions to fulfill. We are all in this together, and together we can achieve any goal we envision for our future. Start locally, think globally, act from your heart, and appreciate every and all synchronicity that occurs.
So, as it was serendipity that brought this experience and these lessons into my life, I encourage you to allow the lessons to bring serendipity to your experience as well. No matter what your dream may be, if you can find your own personal way of integrating these 10 lessons into the destiny you dare to fulfill, I believe with all of my heart and soul that you can find the power to achieve and actualize any goal your heart desires. For this dream, and what dreams may come, remember – “there is no challenge you have that creativity can’t overcome.”
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