New Release: Genius of Being
Categories: New Release Spirituality & Religion
In the third and final installment of the trilogy that includes The Book of Not Knowing and Pursuing Consciousness, Peter Ralston builds on his earlier themes of developing consciousness to reveal new discoveries about the workings of mind, the nature of language, the origins of self and other, and the nature and origins of experience.
Below, in an exclusive first look at his new book The Genius of Being, Ralston explores the idea that love and acceptance are more effective than acts of violence in today’s world.
The Flower Child Principle
I came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area during a time when people involved in a new movement were sometimes called “Flower Children.” It was taken quite seriously by many, mostly young people who worked hard to commit themselves to uncommon principles such as love, acceptance, and non-possessiveness. It was a shared cultural invention in progress, arising as a conscious attempt to reinvent social relations and the values that govern them. One of the most remarkable and clearly effective life-altering principles that emerged was an acceptance of everyone regardless of their beliefs or outlook. As long as they weren’t violent, everyone was accepted into the community and “loved” as they were. This unusually open stance made a lasting impression on me.
This cultural movement was happening when I was around nineteen years old. Up until then, I’d lived life always feeling on the outside of communities. The obvious reason was that my family had frequently relocated as I grew up, but it’s also true that I never felt totally accepted even within that family.
While I’d already intellectually worked out that “love and acceptance” was a more effective way to go than the competitive and often negative social order that prevailed at the time, going into the experience as offered by this movement, my disposition was rather tight and stand-offish. When I was allowed to be just that way and was still loved and accepted, however, it began to melt my heart and open my mind. It was clear that such a principle was a far superior way to live for everyone, making a huge difference with a relatively minor adjustment. For me, it was the first time I felt included and a part of a community.
It’s such a simple thing. The foundation for operating within such a principle is simply grasping that we’re all in this together. From such a perspective, we’re moved to work together and support each other regardless of differences. A rare disposition in most cultures, but it could be the foundation for all of humanity if we collectively understood the power and effectiveness of this principle—that it’s useful not only to create a world that works for everyone but one that’s worth living in.
Such a shift would require that instead of being limited to self-concerns or stopping with our group’s identity, we include everyone, and perhaps even all of life. This isn’t suggesting that our commitment is to have every living thing survive—that’s not possible. Sacrifice is always necessary by individual life forms and individual people. But accepting life and including all others so that they are actively incorporated and contributing to the whole makes the most sense for our survival.
About Peter Ralston
Peter Ralston has done over forty years of intense contemplation and personal experiential investigation into the nature of self and reality. He is the founder of Empowerment, as well as the founder of Cheng Hsin, his school of internal arts and ontological research. Ralston trained with Stewart Emery and Actualizations, and has served as facilitator for other personal growth organizations such as: Lifesprings, Tony Robbins, Institute for Self Actualizations, Esalen, and others.Tags: Peter Ralston