Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Stockholm Syndromes R Us

Stockholm Syndrome describes a state of positive psychological attachment to a dangerous authority figure who has life-and-death power over the person(s) in question during a period of captivity. The defining quality of this attachment is survival via love, appeasement, and support of the captor(s) and their aims. This fear-based ‘love’ emerges in the captive person to mask their terrifying vulnerability by improving their chance and quality of survival at the feeling level. In this post, I argue that growing up, as defined previously, requires of us all that we first identify and grow beyond our own generalised Stockholm Syndrome.

Of course I am taking a few liberties to lend this metaphor poetic validity. For example, less than one in ten people in hostage/kidnap situations are said to develop the syndrome. In this piece, I am suggesting that a far larger percentage of non-elites are subject to this state of being, though to varying degrees. Rough caricatures might be the obsequious and/or vociferous supporters of the status quo; more timid types afraid to ask probing questions and thus positively supportive of the Powers That Be; or apparently rational people who have logically deduced that eggs must be broken to make omelettes and are thus supportive of Tough Love, Hair Shirts and Tightened Belts in the interests of law and order. I am also suggesting that a captor, or group of captors, need not be physically present or even explicit in their endeavours, they need merely be generalised as an atmospheric and internalised threat. In other words, I am here casting the state as a monopoly of force in the role captor, with all us citizens as its captives.

The threat represented by the state is an omnipresent network of nodes: all mass-media outlets; on the streets as the police; on billboards and road signs; in schools, colleges and universities; and in the mere existence of money as a requirement for survival, whose concealed workings hardly anyone understands. At home, we are raised from birth by caregivers whose own upbringings were steeped in this generalised threat of force, who internalised it, and who then dutifully prepare their progeny to adapt to its Hobbesian reality in an unending, ‘it’s always been this way’ Groundhog Day. It’s the air we breath and water we drink, mostly without noticing. 

Some are angry at The System, some not. Either way, the vast majority of us obey so deeply that our obedience is unfelt.

We are all living complexes of beliefs about How Life Is, imbibed unconsciously during our childhoods. Bringing the details and origins of our belief complexes into focus is very difficult. Insecurities, phobias, biases, reflexes, predispositions, preferences and received wisdoms are the unexamined ground we walk, the concealed trellis that structures, or delimits, our ‘maturation’. What is barbaric and what civilised? What is humane, what cruel? What is tame, what wild? What is national pride? What is matter and what is consciousness? What is love? And who has the time to properly delve, in a spirit of open-minded scepticism, into these deeper areas of what we each severally believe?

To take on that task means to dare to be different, to be weird. The Great They are watching. The threat of force is an internalised spy network monitoring our every thought. We are social animals. Expulsion from the group is terrifying, an existential danger. The group has life-and-death power over us. 

This combination of very human elements means that we hold our familiar group and its beliefs so dear and at such depth we can barely tell this is so. Wiser to love the devil we know than to fight and drown in an endless struggle against the river’s vast reality. Going against the group’s flow takes great and seemingly unending effort, and is also the source of real existential risks.

Is this not the essence of Stockholm Syndrome? Isn’t developing the syndrome the price we pay to remain safely ensconced in the system we know best? My view is that history plainly tells us this is so.

Unavoidably, when a belief complex meets the end of its utility, change is required. When that complex and its many siblings together structure a loosely affiliated ‘society’ of peoples that spans the globe – materialism, capitalism, statism, paternalism, etc. –, effecting the required change appears impossible. It isn’t.

I suggest that the vast majority of us want a healthier system. We hunger for justice, authenticity, honesty, transparency, dignity and respect because these things resonate in us as good, as that which is best about being human. And yet we are never going to birth a system that honours them all – by design – while we remain afraid, rendered inactive and compliant by our unexamined Stockholm Syndromes. 

Courage is the antidote. Courage flows from a love-based approach to our existence, one oriented around a heart-felt desire to do what’s best for the other guy, for all the other guys. Both love and courage are sustained by knowing, profoundly, this truth: “As we do unto Other, so we do unto Self.” I have found starting with an honest acceptance and examination of my own Stockholm Syndrome to be very helpful in staying true to this challenging path towards health and love.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Life Has No Meaning. Choose a Good One.

Reality itself can have no purpose. For a thing to have a purpose, it has to be made with one in mind, like a car or a gun. To avoid an infinite regress wherein a creator creates reality with a purpose in mind, but we then have to ask, “What created the creator?”, and then, “What created the creator’s creator?” ad infinitum, the ‘original’ reality itself must simply be uncaused. By definition, an uncreated, or uncaused, thing cannot have a purpose. Ergo, reality can have no inherent purpose as it is necessarily uncreated, uncaused.

In common parlance, the phrase “the meaning of life” is synonymous with “the meaning of reality” and by extension “reality’s purpose”. As we have established, there can be none. Not happiness, not wealth, not wanton destruction, not Evil or Good or anything else. The reality is that reality has no absolute meaning, whether or not we are materialists. 

In my view, consciousness chooses/creates meanings. It is a meaning creator. The meaning(s) it creates is/are arbitrary in the sense that a priori meaning is not part of the fundamental constitution of consciousness, while data and change are. One illustration of this is the indelible nature of subjectivity. For example, a piece of information (pattern of data) such as 010101010101 can have no correct, objective meaning. Instead and in various ways, consciousness perceives the experience of meaning into it. Maybe one moment a pattern is perceived as pleasing, the next irritating. In more familiar terms, sunshine on your face is a streaming pattern of data that can be nice one moment and annoying the next. This subjectivity scales all the way up to love, for me the most mysteriously, paradoxically complex and simple pattern there is (or patterning: everything changes, as reality/consciousness is always changing). As conscious beings, we therefore choose love as the vector of becoming with our own free will, not because God/Daddy/Mummy/Whatever tells us it is the meaning of life, or because it just somehow is, always will be and always has been The Right Thing To Do. In other words, it’s not a correct choice, it’s just a choice. We choose it understanding, deeply, why we do so. Choice cannot be forced upon us, by definition.

If we have in our philosophy – as I do – creative consciousness as a fundamental requirement for there to be something rather than nothing at all, that creative consciousness may assign itself, for whatever reason, some preference or set of preferences that we might call a self-selected purpose or Way, i.e., love. But this is not the same as with a designed object like a car or a gun: such objects cannot make choices or experience preferences in the same way that patterns of data have no inherent meaning.

In the more familiar human domain, some cultural set of preferences – e.g., Capitalism – can become sacrosanct when sufficiently successful over time. It is perpetuated and propagated via various propaganda techniques to society as a raison d’être, but is in fact arbitrary rather than Natural Law / ‘God Given’. It is sold as Natural Law, because when society is composed of a large number of people, its cohesion over time requires very complex systems of self-governance and/or imposed governance that take a long time and huge investment in blood and tears to develop. For ‘reasons of national security’, these defining, core systems must therefore be beyond question. A successful set of preferences (a.k.a The System) is thus the core generator of a society’s wealth because it is the very way its people are able to agree on what wealth is in the first place. To change it in its fundament – to bring about radical change – is to risk (apparent) destruction of that wealth, and certainly a period of profound disorientation and suffering. This logic must surely also apply to consciousness itself, and indeed to all systems. Why change a winning game? Never touch a running system! 

This is, of course, the logic of conservatism, the sensible urge to protect and nurture accumulated wealth. It doesn’t matter that what is protected is arbitrary/confected in some important way, the conservative impulse is generally sensible. 

However, nothing is perfect. Any set of preferences likely includes one or more flawed notions such as perpetual economic growth, or human dominion over nature, or racial purity. If it does, it will eventually have to adapt those flaws or perish. This is neutral evolution as it abuts Natural Law, not some a priori, immutable meaning revealing itself as an absolute good.

Following this logic, we can deduce that free will is a necessary component of the nature of reality and is almost synonymous with consciousness: Free will creates meanings but has no meaning itself. Free will cannot emerge after billions of years of mechanical determinism. Free will is necessarily unpredictable and cannot be pre-planned. Reality is thus fundamentally about unpredictable choices and their unforeseeable consequences as feedback loops that enable consciousness to evolve, via iterative learning through successive sets of preferences over time, rather than devolve, where unchecked devolution would be a decay into the patternless chaos that is the full-entropy or fully dormant state of consciousness/existence. So meaning making selects, via free-will choices and in a survival-oriented way, those sets of preferences that further consciousness’ evolution, a process that makes it richer, wealthier/healthier over time. Evolution cannot be about uncritical obedience or blind loyalty to some absolute good.

What this boils down to is that we are, as conscious beings, co-creators of our future via our choices, inescapably. Not solipsistically, but in terms of our individuated interdependence and moral culpability for our choices and actions. Only we can do the work that is our growing up to finally become capable of making only, or primarily, those choices that tend to promote health/wealth over time. Logically, the more of us actively and knowingly engaged in this, the better for all of us.

I am because we are. The quality of my continuation depends on the quality of our continuation.

It’s like in The Iron Giant. At the end of Ted Hughes’ wonderful story, the Iron Giant must choose whether it becomes a merciless, unthinking weapon or loving superhero. It is not fundamentally one or the other, it is ‘merely’ a patterning of data with a certain set of attributes, as we all are.

Humanity is now face-to-face with an Iron Giant-like decision. An epoch-ending bifurcation point is upon us as a species, one part of which is our political economics. Any new political economics capable of properly addressing steady-state growth while encouraging the healthy maturation or qualitative growth of all its subjects will likely be radically different to today’s capitalist orthodoxy that holds perpetual economic growth and monetary profit as absolute goods. Time will tell whether we evolve into something more nuanced and loving, or devolve into something more dictatorial, fearful, exploitative and controlling than is currently the case. The choice is ours.

As always, our ability to choose how our future unfolds, depends directly on how we mature as individuals, and thus as a species, towards love.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Orthodox Economists Trapped in Maslow's Bottom

In my last post, I briefly defined health as a complex and living whole: “the dynamically interoperating totality of your physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, relationship (with Other, including the environment), career and financial health over time”. No doubt many would draw a connection between this definition and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The latter is the subject of this post.

I used to like Maslow’s pyramid, but now find it restrictive in its clear-cut departments, as well as off target due to its focus on needs. I know of people who operate from a place of love, and from that a calm confidence the universe will provide. They operate from the upper section first but as a manifestation of love, trusting/knowing that the other sections will take care of themselves. For them, the pyramid’s dynamic is reversed, and in fact not really a pyramid at all. In my view, this is the necessary state of being of a mature consciousness, a mature soul.

The system we occupy and co-create is obsessed with Maslow’s lowest section. We experience the other sections as variations of it, understand and experience them through its lens; esteem is the consequence of conspicuous consumption and possession of as many status symbols as possible, relationships are first possible after we have demonstrated our worthiness through our success as property accumulators, the more we own the safer we are, and so on.

Obviously, my assertions here are a caricature of a very complex situation that has all manner of cross currents and counter influences.  But at root Maslow’s is a pyramid of needs. Love, for example, has little to do with Self’s needs, but rather with what is best for Other. The pyramid is thus a fear-based interpretation of reality: what do I, fundamentally separate from but surrounded by a threatening environment, need to survive, then thrive? Operating from a state of fear, we are acquisitive, cynical and suspicious. We can’t help but perceive reality as a finite pool of necessarily scarce resources for which we fight against all enemy Others to meet our needs. Life is a hard struggle. Only a fortunate few can climb to the top spot and enjoy the view from those superior heights. On the whole, this generates and justifies elitism and its Hobbesian sensibility regarding the rule of law and the need for a forceful state.

More prosaically and as demonstrated by The Story of Stuff, the constant output from the worlds of advertising and public-relations is a siren song crafted to fix our gaze on the bottom of the pyramid, to forever remind us, both subtly and grotesquely, that below it lies a hellish and precarious existence.  All this inrushing energy wildly inflates the importance of our base needs so that they pervade and colour everything else we see. This is the atmosphere we live in, the all-encompassing water we have a hard time perceiving as a deliberate construction.

As we begin to mature by patiently tackling our own fears, Maslow’s pyramid slowly stops making sense. We no longer live in insoluble scarcity but are instead surrounded by abundant opportunities to grow qualitatively. The rich diversity of people that surround us represent real wealth simply by virtue of that diversity. Our motivation becomes the rich rewards of participation and contribution, the meaningfulness of tending the totality of the garden that is our whole environment. Self is catered for via its love for Other. Esteem is not an end-goal or even a requirement, it is an irrelevance. Self-actualisation is a necessary consequence of a mature consciousness.

But this does not mean we no longer have physical needs. It means we tend to them in the same spirit of love that we tend to everything else. There is always work to be done, there’s just no need to do it fearfully, with a worried eye swivelled to status and esteem. 

Can we develop an economics that emerges from a love-based, fluid approach to reality? That will become apparent as more and more of us choose health and maturity of consciousness as our guiding lights.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Towards a less fervent work ethic

My translation of Heinrich Böll’s Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral:
In a port somewhere on a Western European coast, a poorly clothed man dozes in his fishing boat as an elegantly dressed tourist loads a new colour film into his camera to catch the idyllic scene: blue sky, green sea combed with pretty, snow-white waves, black boat, red fishing cap. Click. And again: click. And, because three times is a charm and you
re always better safe than sorry, a third click. The clipped and oddly hostile sound rouses the dozing fisherman. He straightens sleepily, fishing sleepily for his cigarettes. But before he can snag them, the tourist thrusts his own packet towards his new companion and, while not quite prizing a cigarette between the fishermans lips, slips one into his hand. A fourth click – that of his lighter – concludes the eagerly performed service. A sudden awkwardness sparks up from a barely detectable, certainly unprovable excess of deftly administered politeness that the tourist – sure footed in the local lingo – attempts to bridge by initiating conversation. “You’re sure to net a good catch today.”
The fisherman shakes his head. “But a little monkey told me the weather is just right.” The fisherman nods.
“So you are not heading out then?” The fisherman shakes his head. Rising discomfort rears its head in the tourist. Of course it is concern for the poorly clothed man that spurs him on, fidgets worry about a missed opportunity into his being. “Oh? Are you not well?” At last the fisherman moves from sign language to the spoken word.
“I feel great,” he says. “Never better.” He stands up and straightens out as if demonstrating his athletic build. “I feel wonderful.”
The tourist
s mien grows dark. He can no longer hold in the question that threatens to detonate his composure. “But why do you not head out?” The response is as immediate as it is brief.
“Because I was out already this morning.” 
“Was the catch good?” 
“So good that I don’t have to head out again. I caught four lobsters in my baskets and almost two dozen mackerel in my nets. 
Now fully awake, the fisherman softens and bends down to pat the tourist on the shoulder. The man’s troubled demeanour has moved him, however unjustified it might be. “I even have enough for tomorrow and the day after that!” he says, trying to soothe the foreigner’s soul. “Smoke one of mine?”
“Thank you.”
Cigarettes are popped into mouths, a fifth click sounds, the foreigner sits himself on the edge of the boat and relieves his hand of the camera. He needs both free to lend gravitas to his talk. “I do not want to meddle in your personal affairs,” he says, “but try to imagine that you head out for a second time, a third, heavens why not even a fourth, and you would catch three, four, five maybe as much as ten dozens of mackerels. Imagine that!”
The fisherman nods.
“You would head out,” continues the tourist, “not only today but tomorrow, the day after, yes every day the weather is good, three times, maybe four times a day. And do you know what would happen?”
The fisherman shakes his head.
“After one year at the latest, you would be able to buy a motor, in two years a second boat, in three or four years maybe a small cutter, with two boats or a cutter your catch would of course be much much bigger – one day you would have two cutters, you would...” excitement snuffs out his voice for a moment... “You could build a little refrigeration hut, perhaps a building for fish smoking, later a marinating factory and a helicopter for patrolling the area and reporting back to you about schools of fish and you could manage your cutters by radio then apply for a salmon licence and open a restaurant and sell lobster directly to Paris without a middleman and then...” Again his excitement overruns him, forces another unwelcome pause. Shaking his head, his heart’s deeps churned with thick emotion, his holiday exuberance almost guttered out, he gazes at the untroubled flood of rolling waves in which uncaught fish play with abandon. “And then,” he says, but again his voice falters. The fisherman pats him on the back as if consoling a child that has just choked on its milk. “And then?” he asks gently.
“Then,” says the foreigner with quiet fervour, “then you could sit peacefully here in this port under the sun, doze, and gaze out across the beautiful sea.”
“But I
m doing that now,” says the fisherman. “Im sitting here peacefully and dozing. It was all that clicking that woke me.” 
The tourist, recipient of an unexpected lesson, withdrew in contemplation. He had once believed that he worked so that one day he would no longer have to. There remained in him no trace of sympathy for the poorly clothed fisherman – just a little envy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Franz Hörmann’s Infomoney, Part IV

(Part III here)
The logic of [debt] is continued expansion. And that is almost a platitude of empires generally, that empires have an expansive logic built into them that obliges them to continue to expand, otherwise they kind of collapse inward. They can’t remain static.
Matthew Restall , source

As a process, civilization resembles a long-running economic bubble. Civilizations convert found or conquered ecological wealth into economic wealth and population growth.
William Ophuls, Immoderate Greatness

Yet we can’t stop the process. A capitalist economy, by definition, lives by growth; as Bookchin observes: “For capitalism to desist from its mindless expansion would be for it to commit social suicide.” We have, essentially, chosen cancer as the model of our social system.
Ursula Le Guin, source
Modern money is debt. Its logic is continued expansion for two mutually-reinforcing reasons:

1.   The civilisational/empire project is ‘congenitally’ about perpetual growth
2.   The perfect engine and/or fuel for 1. is interest-bearing debt-money creation.

Interest is exponential growth. Societies that systemically rely on it must grow else they collapse. This is the basic dynamic of a Ponzi scheme or economic bubble: if it isn’t growing, it’s collapsing. Because infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet, it follows that civilisation needs to discover, systemically, how to stay moving, how not to stagnate, by embarking on a new course of sustainable development. Therefore, because our money systems, financial institutions and the broader commercial world are each perpetually growing offshoots of the underlying civlisational dynamic, we need a profound revolution in all of these systems and down to the underlying dynamic before such a fundamental change of direction and emphasis becomes at all possible. Some call this a revolution of consciousness, and I agree with them.

The end of growth is a far more radical undertaking than most realise. Mere tweaks to the current system cannot induce it to function healthily on a path of sustainable development / steady-state growth. What is required goes against civilisation’s grain. Because our socialisation governs what we think of as natural and possible, a critical part of accomplishing this change of direction is education.

Education is currently an institution designed with perpetual growth in mind. It produces obedient consumers unschooled in imaginative and critical thought, incapable of direct democracy and mature citizenship, and thus prepared to subjugate themselves to meaningless jobs to pay for addictions skillfully foisted on them by the advertising industry to briefly assuage insatiable hungers generated by the hollowness of the broader system. Schools teach us what to learn, primarily by rote, not how to learn with playful yet sceptical enthusiasm.

In light of all this, Franz Hörmann’s proposal includes radical change to the education system. His tentative idea accomodates findings from brain researchers like Gerald Hüther and evolutionary psychologist Peter Gray, and educationalists such as John Taylor Gatto and John Holt. The ideas and findings of such thinkers and scientists cannot be realised in the current system, which is why no amount of evidence in support of them nor reasoned appeals to the elites have much effect. In something of a catch 22, the broader system has to change before it can want to revolutionise its education institutions, but education has to change to generate mature citizens who collectively give rise to and can sustain the type of new system humanity now requires. This double bind is echoed in Bookchin’s observation: “For capitalism to desist from its mindless expansion would be for it to commit social suicide.” As I have stressed elsewhere, it therefore falls to outsiders to make the attempt to get sufficient numbers hungry for self-motivated re-education in and then desirous of radical change.

Life coach

In an information money system, most of today's professions will no longer be needed. "Work time" (that time we humans spend doing something we don't want to do but must in order to secure a certain standard of living) will be significantly reduced, perhaps to as little as 8 – 10 hours a week.

However, there will be a new profession, though it will be more of a calling than a job: the life coach.

Mainly during the paradigm change, but also thereafter, everyone will be accompanied by an empathic, experienced friend who has 25 – 30 people in his or her care and helps them develop their potential. Today,
coaching is familiar as a brash management approach in almost all large companies. For our purposes, life coaching is closer to the mark. Moreover, life coaching will involve all personal assistance, training and support functions carried out today by bureaucrats who often toil anonymously under insufficient holistic knowledge (doctors, teachers, trainers, etc.). There is today a large number of highly empathic people who derive their greatest pleasure from helping others freely develop their potential and realise their goals and ambitions. Such people gravitate towards a wide variety of professions, for example Reiki practitioners, energy healers, shamanic healers, psychotherapists, physiotherapists, nurses, teachers, and countless others. And though in these professions there is an equally wide variety of attitudes and beliefs, those active in these fields are united by one significant factor: they are made happy by helping others.

The life coach concept embodies those aspects of the information money system proposal that are currently the least understood. Many people are discomfited by the idea that their entire lives would be accompanied by others, by people who would have a comprehensive overview of their life's course, their private goals and desires.

In response to this, we present below some answers to the most frequently asked questions

1) Can a life coach dictate terms to me?
Life coaches are supportive companions who can only make suggestions and offer positive incentives. They have no power to punish whatsoever and cannot therefore bring any force to bear. Their advice is simply advice to be considered, experimented with or rejected. Because one of our foundational premisses is that people are fundamentally good (friendly, cooperative, positively oriented), we want to establish a new society without force and punishment. In our view, it is normative social pressures and processes that encourage competitiveness and scarcity-based thinking, and subsequently fear and greed as drivers of antisocial and criminal urges. Once we are able to cooperatively produce the things we need and want in abundance such that we need not fight each other to acquire them, then envy, theft and deception will fade away as social behaviours. Psychological disorders (e.g. kleptomania) should be healed through compassionate and sympathetic therapies; "punishment as deterrence" is of little-to-no use in such cases.

2) Why would I have any need for a life coach at all?
The paradigm change we are now going through will be a serious psychological challenge for all of us. On the one hand, certain social assumptions will be displaced (e.g. the basic idea of the "moneyed person" as being superior to others, and the idea that money grows or "works"). On the other, other aspects of our contemporary understanding of life, the universe and everything will be subjected to profound changes (e.g. the basics of material realism, human health, concepts of body, mind and soul, but also what sort of life goals we set ourselves and how we choose to spend our time). Because these changes will confront us almost all at once, many of us will feel rather inundated, unmoored, perhaps to the extent that the process will place us in something approaching a state of shock. In light of this, it would make sense to have a competent and trusted person to turn to, a person who is already quite familiar with these changes, but one who also possesses the psychological communicative competence to gently and constructively guide those who trust him or her through the transition period. Their attentive and compassionate guidance can also prevent, lastingly, some of us from falling prey to emotional stress, panicking, and turning to violence (such as burning cars, breaking windows, robbing shops, etc.). Because we will have far more free time in the new society, it also makes sense that these trained life coaches are able to offer suggestions from a wide variety of sensible activities that are also fun. Later on, life coaches will propose further physical, mental and spiritual development, not as an attempt to manipulate but always as suggestions that their "students" can try out, accept or reject. A life coach is a health, nutrition and fitness advisor who is widely connected with all their colleagues who have their own specialist knowledge. A specialist among specialists. Life coaches can thus been thought of as a living knowledge network focussed on helping all people develop their potential.

3) Can my life coach lock my account?
No. Your life coach helps you to set up your own "economic system" by helping you draw up your "life contract with the whole community" (organising your personal price and tariff systems and shopping basket). They can also draw on the support of life coaches who are differently specialised than they. Life coaches cannot force you to do anything, nor can they punish you. As there is no power-based hierarchy in the information-money system, no one can benefit from manipulating anyone else. Everyone is on a level playing field as a direct logical consequence of the structure of the information money system (but only in terms of opportunity: this equality cannot result in uniformity of outcome, will not produce a homogeneous mass of identical people all wearing blue jeans and sneakers).

4) Is having a life coach optional or mandatory?
We want a new society without compulsion. However, seeing as we will in future no longer have doctors, lawyers, teachers, trainers etc. (i.e. professions whose practitioners know us today more or less as anonymous numbers), having a life coach is indeed mandatory: the role includes all these valuable functions (which means of course that holistic understanding for each individual's situation is ensured). Basically, life coaches negotiate our "life contract" with us as representatives of the rest of the community. Because "the community" functions as a dummy (proxy) in the life contract, the contract's content can be fully adapted to the particular interests and needs of each individual (see
cooperative individualism). But, should the "chemistry" between an individual and their life coach not be quite as desired, the individual is free to seek out a different life coach. The heart of the relationship is trust. And of course every life coach is also under the guidance of their own life coach. 

Me again. In conjunction with Hörmann’s Life Caoch idea, which is essentially about opening up education to be a seamless part of one’s entire life and not bound to schools and colleges, I believe the ideas of Sugata Mitra are a very good fit. He has tested his idea of self-organising learning environments (SOLEs) quite extensively across the world and the results are incredible, and is currently raising funds to implement them. These would be unmanned, safe environments for children to use as curiosity leads them, in sharp contrast to the mandatory and regimented school factories we know today. They would use what Mitra calls the Grandma Method (constant encouraging praise about accomplishments). This would be a screen in the SOLE connected to a positive and encouraging ‘authority’ figure on hand to assist the children should they feel they need assistance. If this has peaked your interest, his talks are fun to watch.