Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Earth Institute

The New Earth Institute

The New Earth Institute is not like any Educational resource you have encountered before. This is a living, organic collaboration between peoples coming together to manifest a new experience on Earth, our Mother Gaia.

We have established this Institute on a number of conceptual foundations, as a starting point, but as all life is dynamic and changing, these are only provided as a starting place, guiding principles as we endeavor to create the most effective, accessible and beneficial instructional and en-strengthening digital resource on Earth.

Later we will provide an outline of some of these initial concepts, but being in the early stages of the New Earth Project it is very likely they will be modified, removed, or expanded as we respond and adapt to this, the most exciting endeavor of collaboration, creativity and inspiration this world has ever known.

By Andrew Skadberg, Ph.D.

- As one is in oneself, is how one relates to all of life.

- Essentially the model of "education" put forward by the New Earth Institute is the process to discover who you are, not who, or what, you have been told you are.

Education (learning, re-membering as Socrates espoused), and being a human-being is really a function of how one relates to one-self and then to the various scales, or groups (e.g. family, business, community) she/he is affiliated with. (see Success Across Scales).

When one comes into harmony with oneself then relations can flow in natural order as one sees in nature. Currently human consciousness is in an evolutionary step which is discordant, and there is nothing wrong with this. Thinking as a means of being has run its course and each Being will face the crossroads whether to go with the flow of life, the breath, or not. But, ultimately, we are all going where the river of life is taking us, and it is good - It Is HOME.

Complexity has become a major expression of the human "thinking" paradigm. As Albert Einstein stated "We cannot solve the problems with the thinking we used when we created them." I have concluded that "thinking" has really become like a virus, and that thinking is a major part of the challenge of the human condition. However, it is also the source of the most incredibly exciting, and profound opportunity that consciousness has as an evolutionary step in our Divine Cosmos. A dear friend, Robert Young is sharing the message of Simplicity, and we wholeheartedly embrace this. (see www.youngsight.com)

Since thinking has gotten things so complicated, and our view of the world continues to be fractalized, the New Earth Institute is aiming to return to simplicity.

As one observes the world, it is apparent the most significant dis-information, or experience, is related to what Desmond D. Green calls "accusational theology, and psychology - in other words the world that has been created or influenced by the idea of "original sin". This is such a simple, and yet profound of an observation that it is quite difficult for people to truly grasp the magnitude of the effects of this single idea in human consciousness, both as individuals, and as a collective.

On the other side, according to Desmond, we can reduce human needs down to two - satisfaction and security. Further discussion will only muddy the waters, so we leave it to each individual to dive into this level of simplicity of awareness.

Global, Comprehensive and Designed for Everyone
The New Earth Institute will include topics in many areas of human endeavor. And the NE Institute will provide access to those tools, information, concepts and innovations, but maybe more importantly, it will be a portal for each person to discover one-self, to delve into their experience, and re-emerge into a new relation to all of life.

Of course you are free to choose your own path as you are sovereign, but our experience and all evidence points to the truth that Breath Consciousness (being aware and appreciative) is the only first step that must be taken. After that, and the installation of Reverence for Life has Occurred (as espoused by Albert Schweitzer), any second or subsequent step will be in alignment with life, which is the foundation upon which the New Earth will be realized.

The New Earth Project, and its affiliated properties, is not a collection of islands of sanity and harmony in a stormy world sea. It is the establishment of a new consciousness centered in Oneness (Breath, Love, Life) emanating from a group of Human-Beings who have tapped into the knowing of Unity Consciousness and are coming together in the Spirit of Love and Sharing.

The New Earth Institute will provide information on many topics, but will not work like anything you have seen in traditional education or learning environments.

Spending 2-4 years, in many cases many more, to acquire a piece of paper (degree) that supposedly validates you is one aspect of the human experience that has lead many to this place of seeking the New Earth. YOU ARE ALREADY VALID AND SUPPORTED BY ALL THE LOVE THAT EXISTS IN THE COSMOS, AS WE ALL ARE. This truth is realized with the proof that you are already here, breathing, and thus able to experience the rest of this fantastic multi-dimensional experience we call life. You matriculated into your sovereign, divinely ordained human experience when you took your first breath.

 60. I hear many in the spiritual world talking around me, saying, that they are quite willing to acknowledge that the Divine is in all and singular the things of the universe, because they see in them the wonderful things of God, and more and more wonderful things the more inwardly they are examined. But still, when they hear that the Divine is immanent actually in all and singular the things to the created universe, they are highly offended; a sign that although they say this, they do not believe it. They have therefore been asked if they are not able to see this simply from the wonderful faculty which lies in every seed of producing its plant is such order as to bring it to new seeds? And from this, that in every seed there is an idea of the infinite and the eternal; for it has in it an endeavour to multiply and to fructify to infinity and to eternity. Also from every living creature even the smallest: for there are organs of the senses in it; there are brains, hearts, lungs and the other viscera; with arteries, veins, fibres, muscles, and actions resulting from these: not to dwell on the stupendous things in the capacities of animals, about which whole volumes have been written. All these wonderful things are from God, but the forms with which they are clothed are from the materials of the earth: out of these come plants, and in their order, men;; wherefore it is said of man, that he was created out of the ground, and that he is the dust of the earth, and that the soul of lives was breathed into him (Genesis ii 7). From which it is plain that the Divine does not belong to man, but is adjoined to him.
Emanual Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom

The New Earth Institute then aims to re-introduce you to your - Self. The best place to start is with our first course The Practice (Desmond D. Green). The Practice is the best tool, or exercise, that I have found which will lead a person to begin to become aware of all the con-fusion, and disharmony they experience in any given day. The Practice provides a skill-set (yes like riding a bike or any other ability acquired, or learned) that addresses how one relates to oneself and hence the rest of the world.

Of course The Practice is Yours. It is the portal through which you will find your own special exercise and emphases, but it is a necessary step to get a handle on what has been happening moment to moment and how a person has been operating in the world, and day to day.

Of course you can do what you want, but I strongly encourage to start with Step One, for at least two important reasons 1) it works, and 2) it's FREE!!!!

A quote from Eckhart Tolle’s recent book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” adequately sums up our position on conscious, deep breathing and its benefits.
“Someone recently showed me the prospectus of a large spiritual organization. When I looked through it, I was impressed by the wide choice of seminars and workshops. It reminded me of a smorgasbord, one of those Scandinavian buffets where you can take your pick from a huge variety of dishes. The person asked me whether I could recommend one or two courses. “I don’t know” I said. “They all look so interesting”. But I do know this,” I added. “Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all of these courses. And it’s free.” Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

Evidence that the Breath is foundational, the Source of life. Watch our modern day movies, participate in Yoga, or Wellness programs, refer to sacred texts, etc. You can even test yourself. See if you can stop breathing, and do anything, for more than a few minutes. (we have also compiled a number of quotations, and written evidence including  Your Breath - The Key by Andrew Skadberg).

Don't underestimate the "value" because it is free. Time spent here, working with Your Self, in simplicity, is the foundation of all subsequent successes. The best things in Life, Truly are Free!

“Everything that’s really worthwhile in life came to us free — our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends and country. All these priceless possessions are free.” Earl Nightengale

Beginning the Process of Finding One-Self
Now, take a deep breath, and know what you discover here at the New Earth Institute is Shared with pure love and no hidden agendas. Here are some essays which provide my perspectives on how to get started with this new adventure. You are welcome to skip this, although you might find some useful insights.

- Preparation for Re-Creation

- Success Across Scales

The function of "government" and what hasn't been working  - community model

I have said for years that the USA is like an amazingly, insane, abusive alcoholic father that is hitting bottom. This may seem like a silly analogy, but one of my most profound insights when I was younger is that individual experiences can be analogized to collective experience. If you look at what has happened in the last 50 years (and longer) it is not a ridiculous comparison. And when an alcoholic discovers his errors, and seeks spirit, there can be incredible transformation. It is time that we shine the light on our collective "scary monsters", recognizing our collective shadow self - essays on defragging the matrix. This is what Sacha Stone the founder of New Earth has done in this letter "To Our International Leadership"


The following essay emerged from me as I returned to my home state of Iowa after being out of the country. I looked at my home state, the cornfields, through a new pair of glasses.We haven't been growing food, as is claimed by the media and our government, or the corporations who now control all of our seed sources. What is going on?
Diversify, Cooperate, Go inside, a meandering thought stream

Beginning the process of re-programming, or examining how a person is relating to their life, and the world.
Questioning Beliefs

Embracing One-ness
A variety of poems expressing the Vision of One-ness

Who Are You?

Insert most elaborate graphic of the Flower of Life, with all of 13 circles, and Metatron's Cube containing all the sacred geometry.

This is a representation of YOU - Each of us contains the potentials of the entire universe because we are the same consciousness (see Source Field Investigations by David Wilcock www.divinecosmos.com)

And our world conditioning and experience has been highly fragmented. But, as a Being, you are completely integrated, always. It is only the thinking program (the big-deal factory, or the brain) that has run amok. Which is only one tiny fraction of who you are.

We must Re-Introduce ourselves to ourSelves which will automatically introduce us to each other.

SIES - Solomon Individual Empowerment Star (five pointed star) - graphics people I am sure you can make a much more beautiful graphic.

Idea Incubation - relating to the world, opportunity expression

New Earth vs Traditional Education

Traditional education has departmentalizd and compartmentalized the world, creating specialization, fragmentation and con-fusion.

The New Earth Institute appreciates what John Muir realized "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe".

Once you begin to re-discover yourself and the New Earth experience then the subsequent information you desire will be presented in the most efficient way. The information presented at the New Earth Institute is designed to get what you need about a particular subject.

Over time the topics will expand, courses might be combined into a course series but the intent will never be to give you credentials. New Earth is a level playing ground. We are all One and equal. The information is being provided to assist a person to access the information desired to acquire a new skill-set or to advance personally into areas of curiosity, or practical need.

The New Earth Institute is not just a catalog of information, or a maze to nowhere, or to go live in a box. The NE Institute is a portal to yourself, your community, the world and the cosmos.

Early Coursework for discovering oneself can often begin by examining one's belief systems.
Beliefs - Questioning beliefs to begin discovering who you are

Another way to uncover, or open up a new knowing, is to go into a process to discover one's passions, or dreams. We have a process, and a number exercises, and essays to assist in this process.
- Vision Excelerator - leading a person to discover, identify and realize their dreams

Be-Coming  - thoughts on discovering a larger purpose to your life

What Is Your Dream? - it seems many people do not ask this question of themselves, but this is a very good starting point to find your true desire. Do not put any limits or constraints.

The Vision Excelerator is a non-traditional idea incubator, to assist people to begin the process of realizing their dreams. www.visionexcelerator.com (domain being renewed)

Who are you?
How do you relate to the community, and the world?

New Earth Institute Grid - locations associated with each New Earth Property
Each New Earth community, or physical location, will have an institute which will be dynamic and unique and grow with its own character based on the community, place and people involved.

HOME Communities were concepts developed by a group of friends with Dr. Skadberg for creation of an intentional community, quite similar in spirit to New Earth - the following describes some basic guiding principles that are complimentary to the New Earth Project

An Example of a Personal Statement to Be Part of the New Earth Manifestation including functional components for the manifestation of a Web based portal

The Intent of the New Earth Institute is a process of encouragement and upliftment for each person who utilizes the resources presented.

Diagramatic Representation of New Earth Institute, starting

Insert graphic of beautiful six pointed star. Starting at top 1) Individual, 2) Wellness, 3) Community [communication, food, shelter], 4) Environment, 5) Energy/currency, 6) Experiences

New Earth Project properties are not creating islands but creating sites that will be emanating positive harmonic energies that will influence planetary energies.

I will be reviewing materials that I have put together about new education models - these are some essays, or "short courses" providing a variety of perspectives and ways to open people's awareness to themselves.
  • The Intent for the New Earth Institute is to get people what they need, easily, readily and expeditiously
    • innovative ideas
    • common sense
    • practical
    • aligned with natural systems
    • environmentally benign
    • multiple solutions, creative, complimentary
    • diverse
    • create a smorgasbord of offerings across all areas that emerge from the growing network of peoples embracing and engaging the New Earth Project

      Some materials that have previously been prepared by Dr. Andrew Skadberg
  • Our Star Power
  • Team/Experience Plan & Study Guide
  • Questioning Beliefs -
  • Light Star Study Group: the initial process that Dr. Skadberg went through to begin reprogramming himself. If New Earth is effective in Sharing, other people will not have to go through so much in order to free themselves from prior effects, of what some call "The Matrix" http://13lightmessages.blogspot.com/2010/10/lesson-1-light-star-study-group.html
  • Reaching Out Strategy - a function of New Earth that can extend out to the world offering our various services, knowledge and support for various populations of people who have been "collateral damage" in our mis-alligned systems of government and capitalism. http://experienceco-evolutiongroup.yolasite.com/reaching-out.php

  • New education book, 75% complete in 2010 - aka Light Being Operators Manual

The New Earth Institute:
1) re-cognizes that we are each what we have been looking for, or in other words, "You are what you have been looking for, and
2) We are all in this together. It is time for humanity to realize that leaving any portion of the world population out of support, as a community is like disregarding a part of our own body. Here is an metaphorical example:

New Earth Institute
Our educational model is about creating a new teach/learn, learn/teach model that will provide quality educational content with the aim empower the individual to recognize their divinity and sovereignty which results in confidence. Then, once the individual gains a basic foundation upon which to learn we will provide a series of courses to assist them in a variety of ways for success across scales.

We believe the Internet is an incredibly powerful tool that can provide a platform for the delivery of valuable educational content and tools to help people achieve their personal and collective goals. In addition, our learning institution will create a collaborative network that will provide ongoing support and connections to like-minded people and organizations for them to stay connected, and have access to a variety of programs and tools as they venture out to the world after they utilize our education Services and Facilities (both on-site and virtual).

Mission: To awaken people to their Heart, which will lead them to a compassionate understanding of the sacredness of all life. The beauty of our courses and programs is that we will not have to force any outcomes or objectives, the desired teachings are unavoidable. So, by presenting the right information at the right time the students will arrive at the desired understanding on their own since it cannot be interpreted in any other way.

Our Goal: To empower all so they may be "awakened" or “empowered” to an appreciation of the sacredness of all life (or Reverence for Life) and can then make better decisions independently from others. (Reverence for Life was first revealed by Albert Schweitzer, one of the greatest contributions to humanity). www.reverenceforlifeuniversity.com

Vision: creating a community (network) of sovereign beings starting with a virtual school/university that is ultimately connected to the creation of a holistic more sustainable community(s).

In the future we envision the creation of “real” communities where the food and energy needed for the community will be produced within the region of the community to create a self-sufficient model. The model for these schools and communities will be adaptable to many places so the ultimate goal will be to create a global network. Some of the initial ideas for create the “hub” of these communities is described in the essay “hybridized community development cooperative”.

Guiding principles:
- Respect life (Reverence for Life – Sacredness of Life)
- Learn to BE in, and participate with, a recursive exchange of Love with the
    One infinite Creator (this is based on spiritual principles not religious)
- Learn from nature whenever possible instead of inside classrooms
- Build a bridge between the wisdom of the ages and the harmonic
    messages of in-streaming consciousness
- Practices and learning will be converted into actions
- Foundational actions: Breathing, fun, connection, collaboration, sharing, harmony
- Non-competitive, cooperative

One of the primary components of the New Earth Institute will be the Web portal. This portal will be the access point to all of the educational programs and to the collaborative network. A fully integrated virtual university and online business system will be operating as a globally networked system. There will be more discussion about the collaborative network which is another project underway with New Earth Nation.  Here is a conceptual mock-up of the New Earth Institute.

The first “high level” steps to be accomplished
1. Conceptualization and organization of first materials into a virtual resource center – a True University. Seek contributors – “Sharers” who see the “Vision”. Begin planning the physical community.
2. Refinement of the educational materials (courses, workshops, publications) and begin letting people know that they are available. Begin actively seeking locations for the first actual “pilot” community and inviting people to be a part.
3. Continue growing the virtual school/university, but begin to look at locations for conducting actual courses. We can create the next University of Phoenix Online – but with Real and practical educational materials – with linkages to other resources and business to support the endeavor in perpetuity.

The New Earth Institute
As the 21st Century begins, a unique opportunity has arisen to re-examine education in Jamaica and introduce a fourth element to the traditional 3 “R”s that will revitalize the impact of education on all ages of students. The First “R” is simply “Reverence for Life”. Not to be misconstrued as a religious, dogmatic or philosophical viewpoint, Reverence for Life invites us to instill a sense of wonder into education. Institutional learning and the effects of bureaucratic management has stripped much life and dynamism from the process and experience of learning.

In order to accomplish the introduction of this 1st R we will simply adapt an existing set of skills that are part of The Practice which is the basis of our curriculum for individual enstrengthening that will introduce Reverence for Life as an integral part of the existing educational paradigm. Other courses based on experiential learning and personal empowerment are also ready to be taught, but the foundation is The Practice.

The initial delivery vehicle will be based on a long researched concept of a “Institute”, or virtual university that has been derived from fifteen years of research of institutions in the United States. The primary innovation introduced by the New Earth Institute would be the utilization of Web technologies and distance learning in addition to technology utilization far advanced to contemporary educational institutions.

The New Earth Institute (hereafter NEI) will not ignore traditional educational settings such as classrooms, workshops, seminars and short courses, but will utilize a dynamic combination of learning environments with an emphasis on experiential, “conversations”, and real-world learning. The aim and underlying purposes of NEI is to infuse our educational experience with an understanding of the truly spectacular planet where we live and our own inherent magnificence, and then to empower individuals and organizations to ignite the dreams and aspirations in their hearts.

Diagram 1: NEI Mandala or Lotus Flower—the Nuclear Reaction* We memorialize the inspiration for our “lotus flower” (or mandala) to Dr. Richard Ewing. Dr. Ewing was the Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University until Dec. 5, 2007. Thank You Dr. Ewing.
Overall Vision and Conceptual Foundation
The Nuclear Reaction – or The Lotus Flower (mandala), of the NEI has its own set of functional parts. The vision for the NEI is global, but as the saying goes “Think global, act local”. So, as we envision a model to touch all peoples of the world, we begin in Jamaica. Our friend Desmond Green was the inspiration for the NEI, but he got his inspiration from another great person in Albert Schweitzer who coined the phrase “reverence for life”. 

We will include some quotes for Albert later in this discussion, because his work has been a great inspiration for this entire book. However, now we will introduce some of the unique characteristics of the NEI vision, as captured in its Mandala. As you will note first the internal “programs” indicated by the green overlapping circles indicate the “core curriculum” or educational programs for the NEI. These programs will be discussed in greater detail later in this case study. As for the petals of the flower, indicated by the blue ellipses radiating from the center to the outer circle, these are the various “Outreach-Service” programs that are unique to the NEI. These items will be discussed in greater detail too as they are related to the ¨pieces of the puzzle” and will be associated with specific “extension” functions of the NEI that connect this new model for a learning institution with the rest of the world, but specifically to New Earth Nation and properties in the initial stages. The final unique characteristic of the NEI Mandala is the outer circle  - the ultimate objectives. Love—Service—Learning is the overarching “context” for the learning model that we wish to create. Love, as a concept speaks for itself, but Love is best expressed through the action of Service, and the whole purpose of the NEI is for Learning. Radical Inclusion is an idea that demands that we erase barriers for inclusion and access to all aspects of our new educational endeavor. And Cultural Fusion invites us to consider the barriers, and erase them, that have created so much conflict and separation between peoples of the world. Through these ideas we endeavor to create a space where all can be embraced within the circle of life. As we initiate our Vision our aspiration is to see that “ a critical mass of knowledge and energy is reached, the results can touch the world”.
The New Earth Institute as a creative, experiential learning institution will begin with a multidisciplinary core of educational content derived from our team’s broad based experience. Delivery will be supported by state-of-the-art hardware and software infrastructure. Our “faculty” is strongly connected to excellent colleagues, experts and practitioners around the world. Working together, they can produce a unique experiential, multidisciplinary, international institution and network that will excel in education, research and outreach. Jamaican students will be able to expand their horizons enormously in this virtual and on-site learning environment. 
Strategy for Success 
We propose to provide a broad based curriculum derived from our team’s existing expertise in the areas of personal empowerment, wellness, energy, creative arts, tourism, rural economic development, social change, environmental and outdoor sciences, technology, business, creative marketing, etc. These programs are aligned with the societal areas (inner green circles) of influence depicted in Diagram 1. Creativity will be the foundation for establishing the culture of the NEI and primary school system that will be rolled out in each New Earth community.

The NEI has its foundations upon the Five Guiding Principles described in the Regional Revitalization and Empowerment Strategy (RRES) Executive Summary as conceived by Dr. Andrew Skadberg. Those principles are listed below. We will not discuss these ideas in detail again, but will provide a few comments as we adapt the ideas to this particular case. In addition to the Guiding Principles, we add a very important concept that we call “Embracing Creativity rather than Competition”.

After the introductory discussion we will describe in more detail some of the functional components of the NEI which build off of the same Action Items described for the RRES. Combined with these grounded principles and pragmatic action items, and a diverse set of course offerings, NEI is in a position to revolutionize the basis and impacts of education.

Guiding Principle 1) Systems Thinking – Understanding Context
            a) the Duality of theEngineered vs Human
            b) the Context, or OpportunitySpace – the Urban Rural Nexus
Guiding Principle 2) Focusing Energy—Creative Synchronicities: TheMandala/Lotus Flower Metaphor
Guiding Principle 3) Creating Systems that Serve People
            a) The Infrastructure Serving People Community Model, and
            b) Success Across Scales
Guiding Principle 4) Extracting Knowledge and Converting (idea creation & development)
            a) Merging the Silo’s, and
            b) Creating Effective Interfaces for Service Exchange
Guiding Principle 5) Grounding Education Principle: Experiential-ServiceModel – Next
                    Generation Education
The Bridge - Moving from Concept to Functional – The Puzzle: A Conceptual Vision with
                     with Practical Implications
Action Center 1) New Earth Center (Local Hub for Education and Outreach)
Action Center 3) Technologies – the Platform for Success:
a)   The Network – Creating Critical Mass and Supporting via Technologies
b)   Electronic (Virtual) Meeting Places – An Interface for Commerce and Education
c) Case Study: Creating the Platform the Traveler Tourism and Community Network
Action Center 4) Community Empowerment Toolbox
Summary and Conclusion - The Big Picture a Contextual Summary

After introducing the Concept of Embracing Creativity, we will discuss unique characteristic s of the NEI as they relate to the Foundational Principles mentioned above. Then we will present the two special action items.
Action Item 1) Technology tools adapted to the needs of users: NEI Library and School of the Future.
Action Item 2) Building the Bridge: The Reverence for Life “Center” and Pilot Project: Developing pragmatic, real world educational content for the New Earth Nation her people.
Ancillary Guiding Principle 1) Embracing Creativity rather than Competition: Moving with the Creative Spirit
As a compliment to the other five “Grounding Principles” of the Regional Revitalization and Empowerment Strategy (RRES) the NEI has a strong emphasis on individual empowerment and Spiritual development. Therefore it is necessary to add an additional Principle that recognizes the potential for the creative mind, as compared to the competitive mind-set. This principle underlies the entire philosophy and motivations of Reverence for Life University. Even though this principle is being added in this specific case, the ideas contained can really apply to all of the cases for utilizing the RRES. However, this principle applies most readily to the individual so was not deemed to be part of the overarching “macro” principles of the RRES.

This principle essentially puts the two ideas of “creativity” and “competition” at two opposite ends of a spectrum. We view that the concept of “Reverence for Life” should only acknowledge the competitive mind-set as a point of departure. In our view the competitive mind pervades the worldly, human condition. However, there is no need to analyze, evaluate, assess or bemoan the prevalence of this in the our world today. The only value it provides is to become aware that it is not the basis for an advancing life and actually contradicts the workings of the natural world and universe. It is obvious, when one considers carefully, that the creative mind opens all realms of opportunity.
Once an awareness of the competitive is re-alized, complete mental and spiritual focus should be on the creative plane. All Jamaican Reverence for Life courses, programs and curriculum are grounded in the principle of creative potentialities.

To further expound on this we have included some powerful quotes from a book that spawned a global frenzy. The Science ofGetting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. Wattles’s book and the creative explosion it catalyzed with the recent movie and book The Secret, might likely be one of the most concise and powerful essays espousing on the idea of moving from the competitive mind to the creative mind.

It is not in our interest to debate the contentious idea of “Getting Rich”. Wattles provides a compelling argument that can be evaluated by each reader. Our interest is to extract Wattles primary thesis in his book regarding the creative mind.

Traditional and contemporary education has created an environment and training ground for a mentality of competition. Students are “measured” against each other. This mind-set appears have become the primary limiting feature as one observes contemporary societies. Competition “appears” to “rule”. This mind-set condemns us to a desperate condition, as highlighted by Wattles, that can only be countered through a transformation in thought  and Spirit.
“On the competitive plane, the struggle to get rich is a Godless scramble for power over other men; but when we come into the creative mind, all this is changed”.
Wattles, 1910.
The “mad scramble” does not just exist for the pursuit of money.

The following excerpts from Wattles provide more evidence about how we can be set free from the degrading influences of the competitive mindset and tap into the incredible potential of the creative plane of existence.
“Moral and spiritual greatness is possible only to those who are above the competitive battle for existence; and only those who are becoming rich on the plane of creative thought are free from the degrading influences of competition. If your heart is set on domestic happiness, remember that love flourishes best where there is refinement, a high level of thought, and freedom from corrupting influences; and these are to be found only where riches are attained by the exercise of creative thought, without strife or rivalry.”
Creative thinking and pursuits ensure that one´s opportunities and successes are not a matter of chance.
“The mind that seeks for mastery over others is the competitive mind; and the competitive mind is not the creative one. In order to master your environment and your destiny, it is not at all necessary that you should rule over your fellow men and indeed, when you fall into the world's struggle for the high places, you begin to be conquered by fate and environment, and your getting rich becomes a matter of chance and speculation.”
In our contemporary world, the competitive mind seems to be king. The following quote emphasizes the need to be vigilant of the mental trap of the competitive mind. Wattles then cites the “Golden Rule” that can provide a way out.
“Beware of the competitive mind! No better statement of the principle of creative action can be formulated than the favorite declaration of the late "Golden Rule" Jones of Toledo: "What I want for myself, I want for everybody."
Vigilance and persistence are important to maintain the higher mental ground afforded through the creative mind, but Wattles in other parts of his essay points out that stress or worry will only stifle the process. The following excerpts provide some guidance.
“But remember that your thought must be held upon the creative plane; you are never for an instant to be betrayed into regarding the supply as limited, or into acting on the moral level of competition.”. . .
“Whenever you do fall into old ways of thought, correct yourself instantly; for when you are in the competitive mind, you have lost the cooperation of the Mind of the Whole.”…
The guiding principle of embracing our creative potentials aligns perfectly with the ideas and feelings associated with NEI. The founding curriculums in The Practice (personal empowerment), art, experiential learning, rural agricultural and economic development and experiential tourism are primarily based on opening people’s minds and hearts to the creative potentials that lie within. The importance of moving in the Creative Spirit as a guiding principle is highlighted by it being the first.
Guiding Principle 1) Systems Thinking – Understanding Context
As discussed previously in the RRES Executive Summary in order to achieve success of any strategy or initiative “context” must be considered. As previously discussed, Systems Thinking aims to “contextualize” things and endeavors to steer clear of simple multi-disciplinary models. No project, including an educational initiative, can be properly developed without carefully considering the context and repercussions of the proposed effort or change. This fact has been recognized for some time in the United States for governmental projects. All federally authorized projects require that environmental impact assessments (EIA) be conducted. EIA are a derivative of Systems Theory. Traditionally associated with large engineering or infrastructural projects, the EIA process has been developed because many human endeavors have resulted in tremendous human, environmental and societal impacts.

As we consider this idea, I would suggest that no other single social investment has a more important impact on the development of a society than education. This idea can easily be supported by Abraham Lincoln´s signing of the Landgrant System into law during the Civil War.
As an educational component, as part of a larger society, NEI, must be fully aware of the macro-scale impacts since education is paramount in its influences shaping future societies. However, as discussed previously we reiterate the human and spiritual components associated with individuals. These are key foundations of our efforts to stimulate individual, personal empowerment, awakening and transformation.

Our strategy, discussed in greater detail below, is derived from the basic understanding  that strategies aimed towards successful community empowerment require that we also comprehend the “opportunity space” objectively  and comprehensively, and the ensuing impacts of our actions.
Our systems approach will utilize the “Structure, Function and Process Iterative Model” (see Diagram 2). In general, historically and traditionally, human endeavors and scientific research (under the rubric of education) have tended to focus on independent multi-disciplinary pieces in which the whole is the sum of its associative parts.  In our systems approach, we intend to look at the “big-picture”, identify and examine the various pieces, reassemble the “puzzle,” and then study it as an interactive system—a synthesis of processes (e.g. adoption diffusion), people, and subsystems which are the key to successful education. Again evaluation (which becomes the basis for accountability, or maybe better—responsibility) is a critical element which is inherent throughout the process and is built into the flow of “Structure, Function and Process Iterative Model” (See Diagram 2). To save space we will not discuss the various components of the “NEI Puzzle” in detail, because this model has been discussed in some detail in the RRES Executive Summary. I have provided an “example” puzzle in any case.

For now we will describe the flow process of the “Structure, Function and Process iterative model. The flow, as depicted in Diagram 2moves from left to right, initially. However, the model really is cyclical and contains a sub-cyclical process inside of the “Systems Thinking” box in the center (Structure, Function and Process). The building of this Systems approach is described in more detail in this book as we build a model for the “Collaborative Network” in Chapter 11 of Dr. Skadberg's Vision Book

As can be seen in Diagram 2, the flow process starts in the left with inputs coming together derived from internal and external sources of the NEI. Internal includes the faculty, staff, and organizational resources contained within the University (depicted in the top arrowed box in the upper left). The expertise and capabilities of the NEI are combined with, and potential derived from, resources from various outside sources. This is depicted in the arrowed box entitled “Agencies, Organizations and Citizens”. Even though this box is identified with Jamaica, potential resources can and will be derived from sources from around the globe. There are immense possible sources of various educational programs that can be adapted. The list in the lower left hand corner of Diagram 2 are some of the preliminary programs.

These resources then move into the “black box” depicted in the large center box entitled “Systems Thinking”. The top half of the box shows the “Structure, Function and Process” iterative approach as defined by Gharajedaghi and covered in some detail in the RRES Executive Summary on Chapter 5, and also in considerable detail in Chapter 11 on the Eye Am Sharing Collaborative Network. This process combines with the partial list of various resources, products and services in the bottom half of the center box. It is important to note that this process is not at all static. It is dynamic and organic. In fact, the list provided in this document are only conceptual based on preliminary ideas, but the real programs will be derived from the “real process” derived from needs assessments and after the organizational partners and input resources have been identified. 

Essentially, this schematic identifies a sort of “nested” “Structure, Function and Process iterative model” that allows for constant evaluation and adaptation of what is produced so as to most adequately meet the needs of clients, constituents (students, public) which is depicted on the far right of the diagram.

Key to success of this endeavor is the creation of programs, applications, etc. that fulfill the needs of those populations of people we are serving. At this point we see that it is important to develop more practical and pragmatic solutions because so many peoples are suffering at the most basic levels. However, it is also important to note that these conditions will ultimately be addressed by a wholesale shift in people´s thinking, living, and perceptions which can only really be addressed by Spirit. As the model is instituted it is perpetually self creating and expanding. This means that as the programs begin to help people grow and evolve, the programs will evolve to fulfill those needs. It is critical nonetheless that there are always methods in place to evaluate the effectiveness of programs to satisfy the needs of students and various beneficiaries. This idea of evaluation is both implicit and explicit as shown in the diagram below. The “feedback arrows” shown identify places of emphasis, but the “Structure, Function and Process iterative model” requires another level of evaluation and adaptation. 

Finally, as what is learned is fed back into the system (depicted by the larger arrows from right to left), there is emphasis on the creation of a “business model”. This is critical to the overall success of the NEI. Once established the viability and continuance will be dependent upon the ability to generate the financial resources necessary to support and expand. This is as long as the current economic paradigm exists. Most programs, courses and curricula will be additionally evaluated based upon their ability to have the students pay. Of course there will be exceptions to this rule when the need for programs justify it, but in the main it is in the best interest of the NEI to be fully self supporting not requiring inputs from outside sources.

This does not exclude the possibility for outside donations but they will only be accepted when the donations are stipulated with “strings attached” that do not align with the greater mission of the NEI. We expect that through a creative business model and the use of Internet technologies and other possibilities for  income generation that money will not be an issue. The diagram does indicate that income will need to be channeled to the various areas of need appropriately.

Diagram 2: NEI systems approach using the Structure, Function and Process Iterative Model: Moving from knowledge and information to practical outputs.

Diagram 3: The NEI puzzle.
Guiding Principle 2) “Success Across Scales”
It is worth reemphasizing the main point of the Success Across Scales Principle: the success of collective groups, on the whole, is highly dependent on the success, or health and happiness, of its individual members. This truth applies at all scales and for all organizations or communities whether it is a family, a business, an organization, a village, a city, a region, or a nation.

In other words success can be measured by how the members of the community are being served and thus prospering in health and happiness (spiritually physically, mentally and economically). The success of NEI will be determined by our ability to create a learning environment that serves the overall health of the community. This includes the students that are attending courses but also the society of people who are being served by our holistic educational model. To accomplish this important mission it will be necessary to establish effective evaluation techniques that would examine the overall success of the NEI programs.

To accomplish this we have designed the programs to embrace the concepts described previously such as the “Serving Community Model” and “Taking Care of the Whole Person”.

We not only embrace these concepts in the design of the educational programs and “experiences” for our students, but also apply them to the “organism” of the NEI. Our belief is that we are making a new model to replace institutions, or bureaucracies, creating a more organic , or living entity. One that supports not only the constituents, or students, but also the people that make up the Service organization of the NEI (i.e. teachers, administrators, etc.).

The solution is clearly stated in Wattles’s book, to “move from the competitive to the creative”, or to awaken.

The Solution: Inspiration instead of Charity

As Wattles points out, the basis of revitalizing individual lives, and naturally communities, is not through charity but through inspiration.
The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery.
(Wattles, 1910)
Our challenge, and opportunity, is to assist each individual to realize this. No one is his brother’s keeper. Les Brown states it clearly "Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else."  And the inability to empower the individual naturally extends to larger communities because the primary basis of social programs is based on a charity model, programs that give “hand-outs”.

The NEI is a new educational model, one based on each individual coming to embrace  a “Reverence for Life” (including their own). In order for the greatest impact to be realized, we have to instill a new basis for living, one based on confidence. As discussed at some length in the “Empowerment” course, that demonstration is the best way to instill a culture of change for families and other organizations.

What is working against this new basis for living is a “theological pathology” (Green 1966). This pathology is expressed and passed on generation to generation most distinctly at the family level. This idea briefly, which has been emphasized most dramatically in religious organizations is that life is about suffering and that people are “born in sin”.

Addressing this pathological tradition requires a fundamental shift in people´s understanding and belief systems. The only way that these changes occur is through individual transformation and awakening. Then, the greater family and society traditions can begin to be addressed. The first, as mentioned previously, is in families. Again, the break in the familiar tradition of perpetual, generational suffering will not change through any type of direct intervention (at least in most cases), but through the empowerment of individual family members to free themselves from limiting perceptions and mentality, this process can be termed “demonstration”. This then provides a sort of path for other family members to follow. 

The Practice and Deep Conscious Breathing – The Foundation for JRLU’s Success
In order to achieve success at all scales we must first develop a solid foundation to empower individuals. The Practice provides that foundation. Additional personal empowerment courses and seminars will be available and can enhance the success of the individual, but the “core curriculum” is based on the clear, simple actions and principles outlined in The Practice, (See “Core Content” for more on The Practice). In fact, to go a step lower, the foundation of The Practice is Conscious Deep Breathing (CDB), which is really the foundation of all life.

We have been searching many sources  and books on spiritual practice and the import of the “breath” and breathing for spiritual transformation is irrefutable. In Chapter 13 We provide some summaries and excerpts from these credible and important sources. However, for brevity we provide one excerpt to validate that a solid foundational idea and practice for individual empowerment be upon Conscious Deep Breathing. Chapter 13 includes a summary of some additional quotes, and breathing exercises that we have found.

A quote from Eckhart Tolle’s recent book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” adequately sums up our position on conscious, deep breathing and its benefits.
“Someone recently showed me the prospectus of a large spiritual organization. When I looked through it, I was impressed by the wide choice of seminars and workshops. It reminded me of a smorgasbord, one of those Scandinavian buffets where you can take your pick from a huge variety of dishes. The person asked me whether I could recommend one or two courses. “I don’t know” I said. “They all look so interesting”. But I do know this,” I added. “Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all of these courses. And it’s free.” Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
To expand and serve organizations/communities as you go up the pyramid of the Success Across Scales (Diagram 4), NEI will provide curriculums and courses designed to address the special needs and characteristics of those organizations to ensure success. Our Success Across Scales principle is a simple concept that states that the ultimate success of each higher scale is dependent on the success of the scale below it. However, our success with NEI is this understanding, and our team’s knowledge of the special challenges and functioning of the various organizations across scales. Our unique knowledge of this principle, and our expertise to utilize information technologies to address these various needs of all scales (individual, business, organization, community, region, state/nation), positions us to be a powerful change agent in education in the 21st century.

There is no additional commentary on the Guiding Principles beyond what is discussed in the RRES Executive Summary on Chapter 5 It is very likely that some, if not all, of the Action Items outlined in the RRES are also developed for NEI. However they will not be discussed here. Two new action items are introduced and discussed briefly below. These ideas are not just “pie in the sky”. Some of the concepts discussed were the inspiration of Dr. Richard Ewing, which were used to win a $20 million grant to create a virtual institute with the King Abdulah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.
Action Item 1) Technology tools adapted to the needs of users: The Library and School of the Future
Introduction and Background
Technologies will be a vehicle to ensure the success of the NEI. The ingredients for success will be adapting the technologies in a way that serves the various communities at the various scales as discussed in the previous section. In essence, the process of creating an impactful and empowering educational initiative will be to create technologies that are easily adopted and diffused. To accomplish this there are simple foundational guiding principles for the design and usability of the Internet Communications Technologies (ICT) systems. First, the technologies must provide easy and dependable access to the educational content that is being provided. Second, the user interfaces should be engaging, attractive, user friendly (easy to use) and easy to learn, but with capabilities to provide advanced services and content.

An important concept that our team has recognized is that much technology that has been developed is designed in a way that really doesn’t serve the individual in a way that is amenable to their needs, skills and knowledge. Many new technology developers seem to expect their users to learn new skills to use and interact with the technology interfaces. Learning curves can potentially be long, steep and difficult which naturally discourages users.

Of course, as has been discovered in optimal experience theory, some level of challenge is important to create “flow” experiences (optimal experience) (Csikszentmihalyi, 1976). However, in an educational setting, it would logically follow that the challenge should not come from learning how use the technology, it should come through the content. The idea of education is to present mind (and spirit) expanding information and experiences, unless of course the learning is related to the acquisition of the new skill sets related to the technology itself.

A core objective of NEI is that the technology needs to focus on serving people. And it is the burden of the technology developers to create easy to use interfaces and systems that students can learn with a relatively flat learning curve. This approach will allow NEI to readily adapt to all potential audiences.

We do recognize that different ages and interests can significantly affect the ability of people to learn new technologies. For example, youth are highly adaptable to new technologies. Our intent will be to provide the most efficient and extensive outreach possible, to support all user groups. Additionally, an important aim will be to extend our empowerment education to those individuals and groups who traditionally have not been reached.

Of course we are also aware that we do not want to lower our standards to the lowest common denominator, thus discouraging or disenfranchising important audiences. Again, the burden will be on the technology developers and administrators of NEI to create technologies that serve the various constituents at their skill level, and if important to the educational objectives, to bring them up a learning curve. However, to reiterate, a primary understanding is that in an educational setting, the challenge should come through the content being delivered and not from the delivery vehicle. As a basic philosophy the technology should operate flawlessly and transparently.
Technology for Communications and Collaborations
Our team’s research of the development of the Internet over the past fifteen years has revealed that one of the most important emerging functions is for networking, the building of personal, business and organizational networks for the advancement of those entities. Nearly all users of the Internet, ultimately, have this as a primary aim (although they may not be consciously aware of this). As we intend to “build a bridge” to non-traditional students and groups, this is a very important function of technology utilization at NEI.

As one observes the massive growth of “social networks” it is apparent that Internet users are adapting and evolving both in how they use it and how they try to be successful with their businesses and personal networking. They are also learning how to use the Internet as a communications medium and to collaborate or link with other businesses. What was revealed in Skadberg’s (2002) research using actor-network theory (Callon and Latour) of small business use of the Internet, is that people are at different levels of maturity in this process of using the Internet as a communications and networking tool. This maturity is expressed in three important ways, in relation to: their businesses, their familiarity and confidence in using the Internet to help them be successful with their businesses, and how they are affiliated with the various community(s) that appear to be evolving at a number of scales, including local, regional, and throughout the entire Internet.

It has also been discovered, that as the Internet evolves as the next paradigm as a communications medium, that users are strongly dependent on the network. Even at this early stage of networking capability development, the Internet provides by far the most powerful and cost effective means for reaching people.

Skadberg’s research identified five levels of networks within the experiential tourism business realm on the Internet, in terms of geographical scale.

      The individual and their immediate network. This is the lowest level network although its geographical representation may be extensive. This network is represented by the individual business, the real world community where the business exists, and the natural resources that are being utilized for providing the experiential tourism activities, as well as all of the related human and non-human factors in the network.

      The second level networks are the Web-based communities that were identified by the business owners. In most cases, these networks are related to the specific geographical region where these businesses are located. These businesses are using the Internet and the network as a means for communication and marketing.

      The third level of network is associated with a larger scale of community/associations over the Internet and the programs that are being supported by the various states. This level is also associated with geographical regions most closely associated with individual states (e.g. in 2002 there were five states with active experiential tourism programs).

      A fourth level of community is created by the individual business owner. This level of networks can have very broad geographic reach. This level appears to be quite similar to the second level networks because they are created by the individual business. The research revealed that the more mature business owners recognized another level of Internet community that went beyond geographical boundaries. They suggested that the creation of connections (affiliations) between themselves and many other businesses and organizations with a broad spectrum of affiliations was critically important to their businesses’ success. These affiliations, or Web-based communities, may or may not have been directly related to their experiential tourism business. These affiliations could occur almost anywhere around the globe. Nonetheless, these virtual communities were defined to be a part of their business realm. These communities could be identified by the links from these businesses Web site and very likely have a very diverse and potentially large geographic scale.

The final level of network is that of the whole of experiential tourism businesses on the Internet. This level of network is the most loosely defined. This is because it is in a state of continual change. New experiential tourism businesses will continually be created, Web pages will be updated, new linkages will be added or dropped and the whole network is in a constant state of evolution.
Implications of Actor-Network for NEI
The purpose of Skadberg’s research was exploratory and to examine the evolution of the Internet as a communications and networking tool, specifically to advance the interests of individuals (and their businesses) and their relationship to experiential tourism business development. The research led to the conclusion that network development has a very important practical outcome for people who operate businesses, or who have an entrepreneurial nature. In the case of experiential tourism there are a number of benefits, but the key for success for the business owner was in using the Internet to make money. This pragmatic result suggests that the Internet as a communications and networking empowerment tool, for this particular user group (and likely many others), needs to address that desire first. Additional benefits, such as natural resource protection, experiential education, community building, and social networking are ancillary and subsequent.

So this finding should be instructive as it specifically relates to supporting businesses, communities, entrepreneurs, associations and other organizations. In order to justify time spent learning and using the services we intend to offer through NEI, it will be highly advantageous to support people to generate revenues, support small business development or to enhance their income generation capabilities.

The results of Skadberg’s research indicated that experiential tourism development efforts have been successful in stimulating businesses around the United States. The research revealed that there were a variety of state programs, or other initiatives (private associations), that were behind these groups of businesses that were clustered geographically around the nation. Therefore, developing programs or policies to promote experiential tourism at different levels did stimulate the expansion of the experiential tourism industry. As an extension, it was apparent that these small businesses were highly dependent on the Internet so it very likely could be a vehicle to expand other industries as well, especially associated with entrepreneurial business development.

Another finding of this research was that these nature tourism businesses needed assistance. A number of areas of assistance were identified that would not require significant efforts to develop. Even though this research was about experiential tourism businesses, it is apparent that these findings can be instructive for the development of Reverence for Life University. Three specific recommendations were:
Establish or stimulate mechanisms for coordinated and cooperative marketing for communities, counties or regions.
Coordinate and develop ways to provide technical assistance for general marketing and Web marketing to regions, communities, and individual business operators.
Create a resource center designed to provide information about these areas of need.
Recommendation 3 to create a “Center” is expanded in significant detail below. The “Center” approach outlined is an evolution of development efforts that have been underway during the last decade. Although Skadberg’s research focused on an emerging tourism industry, the results can be instructive as we develop the “outreach” or “service” arm of NEI.
 A robust educational opportunity is available to us if, in addition to traditional distance learning, we provide what would be traditionally called continuing education and technical assistance. This extension/outreach side of NEI can provide desperately needed learning modules and access to technical expertise to students, small businesses, rural communities and other organizations that are interested in tapping into the tremendous potential of the Internet, especially as a means to create, support and expand networks (e.g. marketing, building constituencies).
The Core Content Areas
The New Earth Institute team has expertise in the areas of personal development, art, social sciences, technologies, tourism and agricultural, and rural economic development, etc. Our team has developed strategies throughout the U.S. and internationally with a primary aim to create an educational initiative like the NEI. In the core areas, our focus will be on personal empowerment, art, community and regional development,  technology, tourism.


Diagram 4: NEI’s Core Content Curriculums

NEI Faculty and Core Curriculum Offerings

- Personal Empowerment and Transformation – The Practice, Moods-Channel, etc.
- Art, Cultural Fusion, Radical Inclusion, Technology innovation
- Experiential tourism, sustainable economic development, agricultural innovation, real-world
   technology applications
- Art, Personal empowerment
- Social/community development, language, culture
- Attention
- Personal Empowerment/Healing, Restaurant Service, Hospitality
- The Walking School
- Outdoor recreation, experiential learning, eastern philosophies in education

NEI’s View on Theology, Psychology and Philosophy
The Practice
empowers the individual and is the grounding of our revolutionary approach to education based on a new theology, psychology and philosophy. NEI’s “Theology” is one of “Intentional Playfulness”. One need only observe babies, children, puppies, kittens or anything in nature to notice that fun or playfulness is a natural state of being. Watching the trees and plants dance in the wind, or to experience the luscious dance of our physical sense perceptions awakens us to the grander consciousness of what it is to be a human-being. Of course, the perspective requires a person to step outside of the confines of limited human, mental-consciousness. The “Psychology” of NEI is “Life Affirmation”, creating a natural culture around recognizing that all is positive as a person comes to notice one´s own being and the inherent miracle of life and consciousness here on earth and the cosmos. Finally, the “Philosophy” of “Reverence for Life” is about establishing practice in action.

The Practice rounds out our foundational view of conscious awakening stimulated by a simple realignment of perspective and “being” (thinking, actions, behaviors). The Practice defines our philosophy. The philosophy goes beyond traditional academic understandings, beyond a mental or cognitive process, but embraces our whole being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. This grounding philosophy allows us to tap into the greater relevance of existence and experience. And, in that realization, gain access to the full potentialities of our lives and our experience here on earth as human-beings and as the human-community.

Reverence for Life is about re-cognizing and “grounding” ourselves in a state of “Self Full-ness”. That is, learning to accept ourselves as breathing life: Spirit morphing into the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. This trans-formation, or metamorphosis, is only achieved through experience. As we find our true nature through The Practice and conscious deep breathing (CDB) we are ushering in what the NEI team calls the Age of Experientialism. Our new theology, psychology and philosophy, both a cognitive and “feeling” place, empowers us to celebrate life—recognizing the reality of life being motivated through intentional playfulness. Our affirmational psychology teaches us the skills necessary to solve and overcome all challenges at every stage of our lives. The NEI philosophy goes beyond the cognitive and ushers in new thinking and understanding through action, or practice. Through action, intentional playfulness and reverence for life we will be incarnating and making real the Age of Experientialism. This age affirms that the universe, which is created more from the inner-spaces of our being, is already ours and is complete and in perfect harmony—Now. Conscious Deep Breathing is the basis, the starting point of knowing this truth “reality”, captured in the statement “EYE AM”. “EYE AM” sharing from the full-ness of my-Self”, is what NEI students will come to comprehend and know in a very profound way. The Practice teaches that the answer to our problems and challenges in life are not dealt with by “turning without” but by “turning within”. Previously people were constrained to experience “EYE AM” because they didn’t have the skills, but now they do through The Practice and Reverence for Life.

“I AM spirit morphing into the four elements, in physical form, manifesting the vibrational nature of their expression, because these are the elements of full Self expression”. Desmond Green
The Practice: The foundation of individual empowerment and success strategy for NEI.
The Practice defines a body and process of core principles that when applied set the stage for life affirming demonstrations. The value of these core principles have all been well documented. For the most part the principles are presented with focus on their applications scripting new behavior patterns for productive living.

Core Principles
                                                            Supplementary Principles
- Conscious Deep Breathing                           - Integrity
- Self Talk                                                        - Sensory Attunement
- Healthy Nutrition                                          - Challenging Belief Systems
- Exercise       
- Unconditional Self-Acceptance
- Vision
- A Spirit of Generosity

In the NEI perspective, The Practice builds a core set of “skills” for personal empowerment and transformation. Building on the simple action of noticing ones breath, a whole new scope of awareness is attuned to, almost, a spontaneous “Reverence for Life”.

Kids (people), computers and T.V. – killing creativity, imagination, wonder and appreciation
It seems that the status quo each day is to wake up and operate within the rigid lines of our past belief systems, those of limitation, scarcity and competition. In order to invite in a new world, a new reality, we need to break these patterns, these habits, and open the mind again to magic, wonder, discovery—the experience.

Rather than allow the things that others have created before to be the boundaries, we can re-cognize these barriers to become our starting point. We need again, as we did in childhood, to take the time to discover the wonder of clouds, our own sensations, the amazing capabilities of a fly, a mosquito, of life and the cosmos.

And then the fun really begins. This is because where thought, feeling, imagination are finally cut loose of the tether of old ideas, that life really unfolds: in wonder, reverence, appreciation and Love. This is the space of Reverence for Life, outside the rigid boundaries of what has been “with-out”, or outside of our be-ing, and through learning to look “with-in” where all that we see out-side of ourselves was first created in thought, imagination: from our inherent creative capacities that we were endowed with. This is the true “motherload” where God, Source, the higher-power reside and is waiting to be awakened and embraced: in the Now, in the Creative Space, in Feeling.

Here are some words that we can describe our current educational paradigm: words, facts, figures, tests, answers to questions, rules, schedules, performance, competition, winners and losers, pictures and drawings of trees on chalkboards to learn about trees rather than to learn from the actual trees.

And here are words associated with Reverence for Life and the New Earth "Re-membering" Model: Self-discovery, harmony, wonder, imagination, experience, creativity, peace, serenity, joy, excitement, creativity, freedom, fun, adventures, unlimited, abundant, pure potential, nature, life, the stars, light, Love.

And yet these words cannot really go-the-distance to what truly lies in the path of this discovery process for Reverence for Life because words can never capture the ‘thing” itself, the sensations, the experience. But as one looks at the lists of words we know which ones we would have our children “evolved” with instead of being “involved” with—the latter being the case with the current educational paradigm. Reverence for Life is an invitation.
Infrastructure: The Library of the Future
As part of the New Earth Institute, we propose an infrastructure named “The Library of the Future”. This infrastructure integrates a set of facilities and tools to enable new knowledge generation from a wealth of digital content and data.
Diagram 5: The Library of the Future, infrastructure components and core content areas.
Architecture and Features
Diagram 5 shows the Library of the Future as a set of closely related infrastructure components embracing the NEI core focus areas. These components include:
- A high-performance computing facility with massive on-line storage,
- Advanced visualization facilities, (see Micoy system in Volume 2)
- High-speed connections to international networks,
- Highly skilled operations and advanced user support staffs,
- Innovative 'Data Center' software to support use analytics and evaluative tool-sets for monitoring performance specifically to keep our technology state-of-the-art,
- Strong, federated, identify, authorization, and authentication support, and
- Curriculum support to ensure effective infrastructure use.
Key to this cyberinfrastructure is a holistic approach, stressing the integration of these components.
The New Earth Institute - School of the Future
The focus of the NEI School of the Future will be to provide quality multi-disciplinary, learning opportunities utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in combination with hands-on learning experiences.
The guiding principles for the NEI School of the Future should address two critical challenges 1) Quality of Access, and 2) Pervasiveness of Access.
Items that need to be considered in the development of a system that will coordinate courses and academic programs at different, and/or multiple, institutions are significant. Time is probably the most critical limiting factor for educators and administrators. In order to ensure success for NEI it will be necessary to create a platform that is efficient and that supports:
1) effective time management,
2) effective teaching and program (course) development, and
3) seamless and easy use for all audiences including: students, faculty, outreach staff and administrators. Additionally, this collaboration network needs to create a productive working environment and one that promotes communication.

Guiding Principle 1: Quality of Access
In order to achieve the highest quality educational experience, we have been working on learning tools that assist our instructors to:
1) Provide rigorous, quality and engaging educational experiences to students (potentially from around the globe),
2) Provide students and educators seamless access to the tools and resources that are state-of-the-art in NEI’s core curriculums,
3) Provide students easy access to educational content, collaborative networking tools and creative learning resources,
4) Support efficient and effective communication and collaboration and exchange of knowledge and ideas with ease between educators, students and institutions, and
5) Push innovative and engaged learning experiences via cutting-edge learning technologies and hands-on, real world experiences in virtual classrooms, laboratories, studios, and through collaboration with the “real-world” (businesses, communities)

Guiding Principle 2: Pervasiveness of Access
A key to success for a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional endeavor like the NEI’s virtual school will be to coordinate and meld the relationships between the various institutions. Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1994) identified three fundamental aspects of business alliances that apply to higher education, successful alliances, they: a) yield benefits for the partners and evolve progressively in there possibilities, b) involve collaboration (creating new value together) rather than mere exchange (getting something back for what you put in), and c) are supported by a dense web of interpersonal connections and infrastructures that enhance learning; they cannot be controlled by formal systems.
Architecture and Features:
Our aim for the School of the Future will be to evolve and expand existing collaboration, networking and distance learning capabilities. We are aware that there are numerous tools and systems that are available for effective distance education. However, our observation is that these tools tend to be disparate and not combined to provide a complete learning solution.
We intend to utilize existing capabilities but also to improve on them, initially by using the techniques outlined below. At the outset, an important realization is that younger students are “fluent” and totally adapted to an online environment. Thus, our ultimate audience is well prepared to utilize the resources and platform (Internet) that we intend to use. They should also be instrumental in our efforts to extend our impacts and capabilities. Important features to provide users include:
1) Multi-mode distance learning/teaching and support capabilities supporting communication, video-conferencing and document/presentation shared mark-up,
2) Virtual environments (adapting gaming environments for more immersed user experiences),
3) Team and project coordination tools (e.g. calendar, course projects, etc.),
4) User feedback, and
5) Student performance processing and evaluation      
In the near future, a primary challenge of the NEI School of the Future will be to develop an effective educational management infrastructure that supports student access to courses and program degrees from collaborating institutions and joint degrees when appropriate. Additionally, adequate computational capabilities and infrastructure will be a critical element for success.
 Since NEI will focus on personal and community empowerment, art, and experiential learning, the areas of disciplinary specialization highlighted in “Core Content Areas” are of primary concern. Preliminarily the NEI School of the Future will provide the following:
1) virtual classrooms,
2) virtual laboratories,
3) discussion boards, chat rooms, and other communication platforms, and
4) tools supporting distance collaboration and project management.

Bridging Technology to Experiential Learning:
An interesting dichotomy is taking place where technology might appear to be leading students away from the real world into “virtual worlds”. This would seem to conflict with real-world learning experiences, but the reality is that hands-on experiential learning is also on the rise.
One of our team spent seven years at Texas A&M University where a number of programs were actively pursuing this opportunity. From the short summaries provided below, we can see this as an exciting opportunity to create a synergy between these two expanding realms.
The Immersive Visualization Center (IVC): Featuring a 25' x 8' semi-rigid, rear projected, curved screen, the IVC facilitates the 3-dimensional imaging of very large datasets from a diverse set of disciplines. Geophysics, life and physical sciences, engineering, and architecture are all able to gain a better understanding of their research by taming the complexity of their data through visualization. Researchers, students and faculty can utilize this new visualization platform for gaining novel perspectives of their work. Increased awareness of the IVC is being supported by student competitions that have showcased a vast array of projects including, but not limited to, cutting-edge geospatial research to new gaming/virtual imaging.
The Virtual Network Engineering Laboratory (VNEL): Funded by the NSF, VNEL can remotely manipulate equipment and conduct well-defined problem-solving exercises in a controlled high-fidelity environment via the Internet using their Web browsers. VNEL enables instruction to be efficiently and effectively distributed across geographic regions, thereby reaching greater numbers of students, including traditionally underrepresented, than would be possible through traditional face-to-face or on-site laboratory instruction. Moreover, this interactive learning environment has already been proven to reduce costs and increase facility use among university students.
 AggieSat Lab, TAMU Aerospace Engineering: Established in 2005 and epitomizing collaborative learning initiatives at TAMU, the AggieSat lab has arch sports rivals Texas A&M and the University of Texas working on a joint project to send two satellites into space. Cooperation is paramount since the two teams of students (each from rival schools) are responsible for launching a satellite that will dock with the other in space. Students of all experience levels (freshman through PhD) and from 18 different majors (from engineering to business to science and mathematics to liberal arts) have participated. Students are working in a lab and actually constructing the vehicles, getting hands-on experience with tools, and in a demanding collaborative environment.
Just these three examples from one institution highlight tremendous opportunities to expand students applied learning experiences while in school. Access to state-of-the-art technologies and real laboratories provides students with a rounded and engaging learning experience. This also creates a natural bridge to industry. In fact, the impetus for the AggieSat lab was the lab manager’s experience with the US Air Forces Experimental Satellite program. He was often faced with the challenge of having to train recent graduates for two years before they had adequate applied skills to work on projects.
Collaboration with Industry and Building a Bridge to the People of the World
Traditionally, business and academic research have different goals and operate with different missions. Business research is focused on business objectives so that research and development can improve competitiveness. On the other hand, academic research is focused on innovations and grand challenges that address societal needs. The educational mission is also to train future generations to be creative and successful. However with NEI, business and academic research will have the same principle aims. This is because NEI recognizes that, ultimately, the aims of business and academia should be the same. Industry and academia need to understand each other to fulfill their missions in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, professional training and education. With adequate funding and revenue generation, NEI will have the infrastructure and organizational capabilities to create the synergy for industry and academia to work together successfully. The key to success will be effective communication between industry and NEI.
The NEI educators and sharers are comprised of multi-disciplinary educators, researchers and practitioners who are well prepared to collaborate and build a bridge to the business world. The final section of this proposal outlines the specific agenda to build the “NEI Center” and bridge to the people of the world.

Action Item 2) Building the Bridge: The Reverence for Life “Center” and Pilot Project: Developing pragmatic, real-world educational content for Jamaica and its people.

Proposed Pilot Project, an extension of NEI: Pilot Agricultural and Community Economic Diversification Project (PACEDP)

Note - this section will need some adaptations, if we decide include this.
Introduction and Background
Our team’s long-term experience, knowledge and conclusions from preliminary research have identified some specific areas of need for Jamaica’s near-term future. Currently, the national government of Jamaica has recognized that Food Security is of primary importance to the stability of the nation. An extensive Food Security Agenda is being launched in November 2008.
In order for the Jamaican Reverence for Life University to benefit current affairs and deliver timely, real solutions, we are proposing a tentative pilot project that would focus on agricultural and community economic diversification. The primary aim will be for capacity building of small agricultural producers while at the same time empowering sustainable community and regional development which would allow regions of the nation to potentially be competitive in the global marketplace, while, more importantly, enhancing regional economic stability. These strategies address the various issues that have been identified by the national government and ministers and other concerned individuals with a primary goal to create sustainable agricultural and rural development across Jamaica.

An important part of the Agricultural and Community Economic Diversification Project is the creation of a “Center”. The strategic approach for this “technical assistance center” was first proposed in Texas as a regional development model in 1997: the Texas Heritage Trail Program (THTP). In 2006 the Heritage Trail Program received a U.S. Presidential award from President Bush.

The core strategies have evolved significantly since 1997 and are have been presented and partially developed in West Texas, the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, and Colombia, South America.  These same strategies are being adapted to another project that was first established in 2003 in Texas as a pilot project called the TexBox Tourism & Community Network Portal. Additionally, Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and more, have initiated similar programs to provide Internet access portals to create a “meeting place” for travelers seeking information and for communities interested in showcasing and marketing their tourist experiences. As of 2008, approximately 15 states are developing similar initiatives. 

The following describes the development strategy for the “Center” for offering the various programs and content. As depicted in Figure C7-6, the center of the diagram indicates the functional “Center” for the JRLU. The idea is to create a central repository of educational content, technical assistance and services that would be supported by the Internet for extending this content and services to the various clients, constituent groups and communities to be served.

Typically the challenge would be to develop the critical mass of content, technological capacity, marketing and networking capabilities (set of green circles and blue ovals) to create a “critical mass” to have the “Center” succeed. Fortunately, the JRLU team has all of these capabilities and access to the necessary educational content and personnel with the expertise to develop the various courses and services. Our team has been working for several years on the exact issues that need to be addressed for success. Our leadership team and faculty have the necessary knowledge and expertise to develop courses, not just based on academic learning, but based on real-world experiences.

Diagram C7-6: JLRU’s Library and School of the Future 

Executive Summary: Jamaican Agricultural and Community Economic Diversification Project (JACEDP)
A collaboration between Jamaica’s Secretary of Education, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Tourism, Reverence for Life University, JAMLINK, Jamaican Cable University and Regional Agricultural Enterprises and Tourist Attractions
As one travels Jamaica and experiences the rich, diverse and robust culture it is quite apparent that agriculture and tourism are entirely complimentary. The beauty of the countryside is a result of the strong history of agriculture. The aim of this proposed project is to recognize the strengths of these two industries and develop strategies to grow opportunities and further diversify the economy, based upon existing and new agricultural and experiential tourism potentials. Additionally, this proposal will introduce the development of new technologies that will facilitate this process and significantly contribute to a new platform for extending education to more people. Inherent in these technologies are the capabilities to track all aspects of the initiative including educational program success, marketing and business performance.

The initiative, in short, will build a bridge of benefits to two (and more) woven industries – agriculture and tourism via entrepreneurship, diversification into value-added agriculture and creative business development in contrast to a competitive approach. The main features of the initiative will build from a regional foci, development of cooperatives, and adapting successful innovative agricultural initiatives from other places (e.g. Rwanda - Texas A&M project, Plant a Tree Today Foundation, ZERI, etc.).

Technology and education will be the vehicles for success. The end result of any effort will be to extend educational opportunities to broader and more diverse audiences. The effort will focus on extension and outreach programs throughout a specified region(s). Once this effort has been developed, tested and evolved, the same process can be taken to other areas in Jamaica and adopted.

The key objective of JACEDP is to create a link between the Jamaica Reverence for Life University and the people of Jamaica and develop a Technical Assistance and Educational Resource Center (hereafter Center) that provides access to information and assistance to a specific region in Jamaica focused on enhancing Food Security and value-added agricultural and tourism development.

Proposed Approach
1) Aim to enhance a holistic economic development strategy – agriculture, value-added agriculture, entrepreneurship, micro-enterprise development, experiential tourism (e.g. ecotourism, nature, heritage & cultural tourism, energy, cottage industries, etc.
2) Adapt existing educational materials from the JRLU team for use in Jamaica (outlined above).
3) Develop a “custom” entrepreneurial training series (modularized) specific to the context of the host community(s) – may partner with other universities or programs (e.g. Marketplace for Entrepreneurs, and Marketplace for Kids).
4) Develop a custom Jamaican Rural Community Leadership Program (JRCLP)
5) Create a Web based distance learning resource center that could be accessed through “partner” universities, Internet cafes and/or community and school computer centers/classrooms.
- On-site, hands-on training seminars provided by locally trained instructors (using a train-the-trainer) approach supported via Cultural Fusion, IAmSharing, Solomon Source (seek sponsorship from Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture or other entity).
6) Adapt online tools from Near-time, Cultural Fusion, Ning, Google, etc. to support the community effort.
7) Conduct research and project benchmarking throughout the project lifecycle.
Pilot Study Areas – Pending discussion
            - Pre-selected agricultural region(s)
            - See criteria for selection listed below
            - Minister of Education
            - Dawn & Desmond Green (Moods Channel)
            - Cultural Fusion
            - Solomon Source
            - Web Antiphon
            - Affiliate Universities and institutions
            - ??
            - Stimulate/create robust rural community economies
            - Sustainability as a driver creating sensible linkages between the various
               complimentary “assets” and economic sectors within the community/region
            - Conserve (and/or enhance) the agricultural, natural, historical and cultural
                assets of the community
            - Enhance Quality of Life
This initiative aims to integrate all aspects of community economic development into a centralized approach supported by a technology based information and technical assistance – JACEDP Center. Publications, information and a variety of rudimentary tools are available to assist communities realize a more diverse set of economic development opportunities. These resources can be combined with new forms of assistance to address other important areas of need including: value-added agriculture, leadership training & development, tourism development, community enhancement, technology development and utilization, and forest, animal and plant (ecological) protection and enhancement. These areas can be supported via technical assistance and training and other support to stimulate/enhance other economic activities that are necessary for communities to flourish, while also protecting the human, natural and historical resource base and culture of the region

The approach utilized will provide incentives for the adoption and diffusion of the use of new technologies and distance learning tools and information that is, essentially, universally needed for all economic development activities. New Web-based technologies can create direct economic returns (rewards) for businesses and communities. These “rewards” then will stimulate people to expand their use of computers for running and growing their businesses and community economic development programs.

An active outreach and “marketing branch” of this initiative will promote resources and services and also conduct in-the-field research to identify and recruit communities that are “primed” with proper leadership and a community collaborative spirit. These communities (or groups of communities) can then be “seeded” with a package of incentives to stimulate their participation.

Because this approach is designed to be market-driven, it will be economically sustainable perpetually. Driven by a successful business development model, programs will be designed to be self-sustaining over time. Initial funds will be used to “prime” the initiative, but the “Center” will be designed to generate revenues so that the initiative will not need to be subsidized over time.

First Steps
- Conduct Strategic Planning Session (JSPS) for the JACEDP strategy workshop
- Identify Project Board and Key Stakeholders for the coalition
- Identify viable sized “region(s)” to initiate project
- Create short list of prospect communities (regional based preferred – using Pilot
    Community Criteria)
- Form working coalition in partnership with regional communities
- Evaluate those communities based on a set of criteria to ensure project success
- Resources for the Center are available and some are in development, or can be    
    adopted/integrated from a variety of sources (e.g. Solomon Source, extension at
    various universities, etc.)
- Identify potential additional funding sources (public & private)
- Leadership team, advisory board and other experts “contextualize” the approach
    based on political and social climate of proposed site
Pilot Community (Region) Selection Criteria – tentative
      - Leadership
- Creativity
- Cottage industries
- Relatively stable economic basis
- Community forestry
- Funding assistance available
- Diversity of natural resources
- Critical mass of tourist attractions
- Linkages between communities (collaborative potential)
- Absence of contentiousness intra-community and inter-community
- Infrastructure (roads, telecommunications, service industry e.g. food, lodging)
- Access to financial support and outside funding
- Social networking – capital
- Access – to tourism attractions by visitors, distance from University
- Prior leadership training
- Volunteer/service organizations
- Prior projects that may have potential to re-start or revitalize
    Rural development models (existing Jamaican approaches – Rwanda/Texas 

Taking the Center to the People
One of the key aspects that must be understood is that not all potential clients have access to online resources. Even though Internet access is becoming more and more ubiquitous and accessible (i.e. Internet cafes, libraries, etc.), certain groups do not utilize these resource. Also, there needs to be educational, or exposure created to have these resources be utilized for more than just gaming, chatting, socializing and sending email. Of course online education is very well developed, however, we intend to extend the model even further to reach those audiences that typically “fall through the cracks”. This is especially the case with rural agricultural communities in developing countries, like Jamaica.

Below we are presenting a organizational chart for Digital Extension Bus that we proposed in Colombia. The bus(s) would be outfitted with 10 computers to create a mobile library. However, as depicted in the organizational chart the key element are active, informed and motivated staff to deliver “train the trainer” programs to the community. The most efficient model will be to develop “teams” of program coordinators in each community. These individuals would be to the go-to people in these communities for letting citizens know about JACEDP, and also to train people how to get the most benefits of the programs.

Figure C7-1: The JACEDP Mobile Classroom and Digital Library

Diagram C7-7: Organizational Structure for the JACEDP—Mobile Classroom and Digital Library—For the Full Description of the Regional Project Go to the Section for the Tourism Case Example Chapter 9.

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