In this essay, I hope to give a face to
the direction of change possible in the near future. Despite
hundreds of years for elderly pundits to create a more positive
future, the outcomes for nations are invariably more wars,
more drugs, more sickness, more inequitable distribution of
wealth, and more decision-making power concentrated in fewer
hands. I concur with H. G. Wells in the last months of his
life that real change in any nation must originate in efforts
at the grassroots by parents and their adolescent children.
One program placing real power in the hands of adolescents
to educate the community was tested in suburban New York.
Called POINT, it utilized altruism and organized inquiry to
challenge authoritarians holding power over their lives. Renewal
of the POINT Club idea under the aegis of a new consciousness
can go a long way towards diminishing the power of patriarchs
in the classroom pursuing their private agendas at the cost
of the health and optimism of the adolescent children and
During the final two months
of his life at age 80, H.G. Wells, esteemed thinker about the future,
wrote Mind at the End of its Tether. It was 1945, and World War
Two was ending with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. Wells who earlier had predicted nuclear weapons to
destroy entire cities was clearly disgusted by the failure of international
councils and coalitions to bring peace into the world. Now with
his own death approaching, Wells on a single page in his last book
grasped at a single sliver of hope.
That hope lay in another
world than the elders perpetually punishing enemies. Nor was it
the scientists or the airmen or the politicians who once were his
sources for hope. Rather now on a single page of his otherwise depressing
book, he wrote, "The youth are life, and there is our hope
for Man." Younger minds were more readily accessible to fresh
ideas. The future to Wells should be placed in the hands of the
youths, particularly the younger men and women who were becoming
parents. The upshot of Wells final sliver of optimism then was that
always the choices made by the younger generation determine whether
the human race succeeds or fails.
Many of the elderly men
reading Wells' words no doubt believed that Wells' mind had come
to the end of its tether and then had snapped. They wanted to know
how the children could accomplish anything great when for centuries
their elders meeting in councils and coalitions had failed. Indeed,
readers of this essay having white hair like I do may assume that
like Wells I am rapidly losing neurons. Yet I do believe that the
great, giant hope for the future places its trust on the cumulative
power of adolescents of the current generation who instead of waging
wars are able to celebrate life.
Adolescents Should be Set Free
In this essay I am going
to continue the argument made in a previous essay. In "The
Dream of Jeremiah" for this journal, I argued that at core
Christianity during its first century personified the transformed
heart of the masculine warrior into the loving heart of a younger
woman. The emergence of the new religion of Jesus through about
120 A.D., as I elaborate at length in a new book, The Hidden Neurology
of The Lord's Prayer, was bathed in tears and filled with prayer,
and replete with community altruism typical of the empathic younger
Now the time has come
to turn to turn to adolescent men as well as women who are sent
off to wars and filled with drugs called medicinal and recreational.
There are the youth spoken for by elders. Therefore it is filled
with irony that the great hope for them in the future can be found
in a popular book from 1970 introducing them to rebellion against
elders to gain access to drugs. His name was Charles A. Reich and
his book was The Greening of America.
Reich argued that when
adolescents believe that elders are being unfair to invoke ordinances
against adolescent use of drugs, that the youth in the name of human
freedom, the youth should ignore the laws. Their justification would
be the coming of a new consciousness. To Reich, youth demanding
the privilege to use recreational drugs became no less than the
arrival of a new consciousness. He called it Consciousness Three.
How provocative them that almost forty years following Reich's book
advocating drugs be permitted in the classroom that another version
of adolescent disobedience is going to be used to diminish drugs
in the classroom. On a single page in his book, Reich speculated
that just like Consciousness One (frontier age) and Consciousness
Two (industrial age) had disappeared, some day Consciousness Three
in a growing and changing society would give way to Consciousness
The potential shape of
Consciousness Four has not been discussed until now. The newer consciousness
originates in the writings of futurists Charles A. Reich and H.
G. Wells. As another professional futurist, I now propose a Consciousness
Four for adolescents eager to celebrate life. Now that Consciousness
Three was been with us almost forty years, the time has come for
adolescents in their homes, meeting rooms and club houses as well
as surfers on the Internet do more than they ever have in the past
to reclaim their bodies and minds from possession by their elders.
The new consciousness helps them better to think for themselves
and to make wiser decisions.
Organized Inquiry by Adolescents
being Consciousness Four
Adolescents seek answers
and quite often remain puzzled by the answers they receive from
adults. Being naturally curious, they continually ask, "Why?"
When trained to think for themselves, they can refuse to accept
answers they consider to be lacking in depth, power and precision.
Unsatisfied by the answers given them by the spokesmen for public
power, they can seek real change they can trust in society by turning
to experts who speak the truth. The most effective way to discover
the truth is to organize inquiry where democratically the youth
can find out the truth for themselves.
Organized inquiry means
they can go beyond simple opinions, and seeking wealth, and their
reading newspapers, and being fearful of challenging the status
quo. Organized inquiry instead means devising a system for asking
"Why?" questions that transcends the propaganda and marketplace
biases. To achieve this objective in the community of Malverne NY
my brother Richard, then age 16 years and I his older brother by
four years decided to establish in the local high school the Program
for Organized Inquiry by the Nation's Teenagers. Rapidly it became
known among the students as the POINT Club.
The POINT Club recruited
members ages 16 and 17 to play creative roles. Each meeting featured
four role players mimicking the four eternal perspectives on how
to best to solve a problem. Each player in the adventure agreed
that day to adhere to one of the four eternal perspectives. These
eternal perspectives were four. We called the people who lived in
accord with them Secretaries. At each meeting they sat at a table
in the front of the room prepared to answer "Why""
questions appropriate to a particular place and time. With nameplates
set on the table before them, they were called the distinguished
Secretary of Results, Secretary of
Objects, Secretary of Limits and Secretary of Episodes.
Secretary of Results:
The expert who looks out at the world engaged in arriving at truths
through analysis of what they see. To them statistical trends comprise
their truth, their whole truth, and nothing but their truth.
Secretary of Objects:
The expert who looks out at the world seeking material wealth and
luxury who is endlessly amassing things. To them their best way
to amass more material things represents the essence of their personal
and social truth.
Secretary of Limits:
The expert who looks out at the world seeped in tradition and organized
by ancient institutions bringing what they perceive to be the greatest
good for their followers. To them boundaries do exist in the pursuit
Secretary of Episodes:
The expert who looks out at the world through filters comprising
their private experiences. They look upon life as a series of episodes
that they combine in their brain to arrive at for what is to them
Seated in the audience
facing the four Secretaries was the youth named Curious Teenager.
He chose to be alive at a particular time in human history and on
a given week would ask a "Why?" question that was aggravating
him. He then turned to the four ROLE models, being Results, Objects,
Limits and Episodes, and asked them to tell him what is the truth
as they viewed it.
Secretaries in answering
the Curious Teenager's question, like "It is 1490, why is the
earth round?" gave their answers according to their ROLE. The
Secretaries would then query each other; the audience would query
the Secretaries; and then from the audience a Secretary General
would arise inviting the audience to vote on the Secretaries' arguments.
They would then order the arguments in terms of persuasive power
and credibility, and then write a report on why, for example, they
believed that the world was round, or it was flat.
At a Typical POINT Club Meeting
At the meeting, the Secretary
of Results thanked Curious Teenager and said, "No, it is not
round. I surveyed 300 peasants and asked them whether they believed
that the world was flat or round. Of these 151 responded confirming
that the world had to be flat because that is what they were told.
134 others weren't quite sure, and the remaining 15 claimed that
the world could be round because ancient scientists believing the
earth to be round and who measured its circumference. Majority rules."
The Secretary of Objects
answered, "I don't know, but if it is round, a lot of money
can be made trading with the aliens. They have need for our teachers
and our education and our products that can make them more civilized.
It is terrible that they don't dress like us, eat like us, drink
like us, and aspire to greatness like us. It's great if the world
is round providing us with new worlds to conquer, and more people
to buy the things that I can sell to them."
The Secretary of Limits
hesitated for a moment, cleared her throat, and then told Curious
Teenager what is in the Bible. "It speaks about the ends of
their earth, the furthest distance being the east from the west,
and the earth lay out beneath the dome of the heavens." This
can be very persuasive evidence, and who are we to doubt the wisdom
of the ancients? To me, the earth is flat"
The Secretary of Episodes
confided that he has heard that when a ship sails away its hull
disappears first, then the masts, and lastly the flag atop the crow's
nest. This is the experience of sailors she knows suggesting that
Earth, or at least the sea, is curved. He said, "I guess the
world is round although who can be absolutely certain unless they
are a sailor or they visit a lighthouse?"
Four answers by the four
experts to the question, It is 1490, why is the world round? Voting
+4, +3, +2, +1 for each argument was followed by the Secretary General
arriving at a credible consensus circa 1490, writing a report like
this one much abridged.
Curious teenager curious
in 1490 whether the earth was round approached four distinguished
expert on the shape of the Earth. It could be flat because that
is what the Bible says. It can be round which is good for business.
Hearsay evidence from some sailors and a lighthouse keeper suggested
the world was round while polls taken argue that the world likely
is flat. Since the precise answer to the question could not be given,
Results proposed that we find some guy named Columbus and ask him
to sail west as far as he and his crew can go. Either he falls off
the edge of the earth and we are rid of him. Or he returns and tells
up what happened to better answer the question about the shape of
Granted that this represents
a credible answer in the eyes of one Secretary- General, and one
combination of four Secretaries, nonetheless it is the truth determined
at a certain meeting the question, It is 1490, why is the earth
round? A different year, four Secretaries and Secretary General
would provide a different answer to the question and a different
POINT Club Answers a Question when the Answer is Unknown
The four Secretaries answer
many and diverse questions, among them the status of knowledge of
the germ theory of disease before Pasteur; evolution before Darwin,
the atomic bomb before Hiroshima, and DNA before Watson and Crick.
The Secretary General in every case balances arguments, tallies
votes, and finds a consensus, always thanking the distinguished
Secretaries for their ideas. Based on this protocol it would seem
obvious that the next step for the POINT Club would be to invite
experts from the community, seat them at the table when no nameplates
are visible and to ask them to present their arguments.
Community experts unknowing
they were going to occupy seats previously held by a Secretary then
would be presented with a "Why?" question, such as, "It
is 1960, Why should teenagers smoke cigarettes?" Ideally the
Results chair would seat an expert in consumer protection. The Objects
chair would seat an expert in advertising. The Limits chair would
seat a religious leader opposing drugs. And the Episodes chair would
seat a professor believing that drug laws were unjust and teenagers
should decide whether they want to smoke cigarettes or not.
Four distinguished members
of the community were contacted, but for various reasons two turned
down the invitations. The visitors were an expert from Consumers
Union occupying the Results chair, and a member of Cunningham and
Walsh advertising agency sitting in the Objects chair. They stated
their positions -- being the dangers of smoking to young lungs,
and claims that advertising agencies never intend to sell their
cigarettes to children. Then they queried each other, and the audience
asked questions of the two of them producing what a newspaper called
"a delightful donnybrook."
The meeting changed the
lives of some teens in the audience. They could think like a Secretary
General, now forming a consensus answer based on testimony of the
two exerts. They could trust more in open forum as a way to arrive
at the truth. The most adept Secretaries were even invited to become
actors in a film distributed nationwide discussing whether or not
in the future they would choose to smoke. in all, the experiences
were beneficial and pleasant.
as Consciousness Four
Asked to contribute to
this special issue of New Paradigm almost 50 years since the POINT
Club, I think back now to the world of the Curious Teenager and
the four Secretaries and the Secretary General. More than ever adolescents
are being stereotyped. They are never permitted to call elderly
leaders on the carpet. More often they are seen as consumers of
products that convince them how bumps on their faces are too large
and bumps and bulges on other parts of the body are too small.
Patriarchs surveying the
classroom decide which students are mentally ill requiring medications.
Diseases that did not even exist in 1960 now claim one ion ten of
the students. Now the time seems ripe for adolescents again to challenge
their elders, this time on the over-medication of the classroom.
The time is proper to reconsider what the POINT Club offered, and
perhaps restore it having a less grandiose name.
It could ask "Why?"
questions pertinent to the year 2008 pertinent to them and challenging
their elders. Imagine the impact when students themselves performing
organized inquiry to find out why one in five children is being
diagnosed as mentally ill. They inquire why bipolar disorder in
young children rose forty-fold in the past decade. They can even
ask, knowing what they do about nervous system and endocrine system
biology, why cholesterol-lowering drugs are being prescribed to
children as young as eight years old.
My proposal is for youth
to ask, It is 2008, Why so many prescription drugs? Some variant
of the POINT Club can be revived, and youth playing roles like Results,
Objects, Limits and Episodes, query each other and community experts
questions like these eight "Why?" questions:
1. Why Are So Many Students on Chronic Medication?
Curious Teenager introduces his question by revealing what he has
learned from grandparents on the world of 1960 when medication and
self-medication by teens was so rare that classmates gossiped about
it for weeks after finding out about one drug user.
2. Why So Many Mental Illness Diagnoses?
CT prefaces this question again turning to what he learned from
grandparents in high school about 50 years ago. There was schizophrenia
and depression, and few other diagnoses were even known by doctors
to diagnose teenagers and children being mentally ill.
3. Why Do Mental Illness
Drugs Wear Off So Fast?
CT prefaces his remarks by comparing drug sellers to automobile
mechanics, asking why when your brake linings wear down and they
are repaired, the job is good for a year or more, rather than the
four hours that passes before you need to take a drug again?
4. Why Claim that Addiction
Arises from a Genetic Flaw?
CT wonders why drug use and addiction is based on some kind of personality
deficit or genetic flaw, when if a child inhales benzene, he is
considered a victim of a toxic reaction. Why are drugs called inhibitors
and blockers not renamed enzyme poisons that they are?
5. Why No Second Opinions
on Career-Threatening Disease Diagnosis?
CT knowing that our armies invade foreign countries to spread democracy
should depend so heavily on a single expert, often a much older
man, to offer a mental illness diagnosis without recourse to an
independent second opinion?
6. Why No Body Toxicity
Studies Before Diagnosis and Medication?
CT is aware of widespread chemical pollution, pesticides and additives
in foods, sugars in abundance, contaminating electromagnetic field,
and multiple adjunctive medications taken can mimic the symptoms
of mental illness. Why no body toxicity tests before the diagnosis?
7. Why Multiple Medications
Instead of Pursuit of the Spiritual Life?
CT is aware of meditation and visualization and self-hypnosis and
Oriental energies, vigorous exercise, Bible reading, prayer and
anointing with oils. Why do physicians preclude these options when
placing the adolescents and children on medication?
8. Why Not Declare a
New Consciousness to Banish Drugs?
CT knowing of fads lasting about a decade wants to know why introduction
of a new consciousness of the human spirit fails to be introduced
into the schools. At no cost, this could take more children off
drugs than all the government anti-drug programs that ever were
and ever can be.
For the POINT Club now
these questions would be typical. They do want to know: Why chronic
medications? Why mental illness? Why short-acting drugs? Why blame
defective genes? Why no real double diagnosis? Why ignore preexisting
toxicity? Why not spiritual regimens to end the drug epidemics?
These and searches into issues of the day fairly demand a new consciousness
and the return of Results, Objects, Limits and Episodes. They are
the guts of Consciousness Four.
Consciousness Four Sweeping the Corporate
Adolescents now in 2008
must learn the four perspectives because this is the preferable
future according to futurists, corporate leaders, neuroscientists,
and spiritual leaders:
The power to decide the
future once was placed in the hands of experts. H. G. Wells for
example spoke in his final book of a preferable future when youthful
parents chose life. Charles A. Reich, also at futurist preferred
adolescents to disobey their elders keeping narcotics away from
them. My own bias is to educate youth to four perspectives on life
because that trend is currently sweeping the world.
The Corporate world has
already made its decision. Experts on the future have been banished
in favor of forecasters who present four directions to the future.
Firms have been hurt by experts speaking in one voice who offered
just one direction for the future. Four scenarios are now recommended
in the latest books published by the university and business presses.
The Neuroscience world
has identified four main neural modulators in the human brain. These
provide four different colorings about the future as it could be.
It is now the belief in the mainstream to four primary chemical
modulators from the human brain stem providing what we call static
and dynamic, best-case and worst-case images of the future as it
The spiritual leaders
have revealed four quadrants for confirming validity. These perspectives
on life provide the means for mutual understanding among people
having diverse perspectives. One popular model sweeping the nation
counterpoints four different perspectives, equally valid, depending
on internal or external, individual or collective ways for living
Taken together, the broadening
of four perspectives becoming the scientific and social norm provides
an impetus for advocating a Consciousness Four for the adolescents
Teachers Alerted to Consciousness
Four Benefiting Adolescents
The new consciousness
now? Why not? What can the high school teacher lose teaching the
youth the freedom of think for themselves based on an educational
club introducing five essentials:
inquiry. This provides adolescents
with the methods, motives and means to attack a number of problems
where the answers are known and unknown. This is more teenagers
surfing the Internet. Organized inquiry demands a search of the
possibilities in a disciplined manner. The discipline to ponder
alternatives in missing in Internet searches, and on television
and on supermarket checkout line when only one alternative is thrust
out towards the adolescent.
challenged. Agreement among writers
and television producers and teachers produces a single point of
view that invariably traces back to elders or patriarchs. The concept
behind the Curious Teenager is to free him or her to challenge what
they have heard and now want confirmed. If elders demand more and
more wars and more and more drugs, it encourages the growth of wisdom
and maturity for teenagers to challenge them openly through a method
of organized inquiry.
- Four Points of View.
This means adolescents joining hands with progress going beyond
believing experts even when they are in agreement. The idea that
there is only one truth agreed upon by experts is rapidly becoming
obsolete. The belief in four competing points of view, four brain
chemicals, four quadrants in the brain, four personalities, and
four kinds of perspectives is now sweeping the world. Some of the
most credible evidence now is four kinds of dreams, each of them
providing one view of the future.
Viewpoints Esteemed. All four Secretaries
are distinguished. It matters not at all what point of view they
hold, they are all distinguished. There is no mainstream view and
no view of those marginalized. Four Secretaries are four immortal
ways of perceiving the world. To call one point of view as mainstream
and the others as peripheral is the height of audacity. During one
generation, the world admires Results, during another Objects, then
Limits and Episodes. They are all valuable.
to Human Genius. The route to the
human genius passes through four streams of information and their
integration. Holding to a single point of view exercises one region
of the brain. Two points of view make two streams of information,
and three points of view, three streams of information. Four streams
of information converge on a band of brain tissue located behind
the forehead in the prefrontal lobes, site for higher nervous system
activity, also known as the human genius.
The main point to be
made simply stated is the efficient human brain conducts organized
inquiry by evaluating the information it receives. Ideally the brain
acts on four streams of information before deciding what to believe.
Almost fifty years since the POINT Club, I write this article after
studying more than ten thousand dreams. It is surprising to report
that eight of ten dreams looked ahead to the future and they provided
four ways to interpret reality. Dreams are empathic, carnal, fear-inducing
and inventive. This confirms that even in sleep the brain generates
four streams of information, each with a different perspective.
Therefore it makes good sense to challenge an expert that has only
one point of view.
In summary, the human brain operates on the principle of four kinds
of dreams and four views of the future. The brain continuously generates
these four kinds of dreams even if the average dreamer prefers no
nightmares. The four views of the future represent the innermost
workings of the unconscious mind. Therefore, in view of the workings
of the mind and the four Secretaries, and the writings of Charles
A. Reich and H. G. Wells, and the nature of dreams that the coming
new consciousness be called Consciousness Four.
Organized Inquiry for
achieving altruistic objectives requiring knowledge of outputs output
to four regions of the human forebrain holds the potential to change
the neighborhoods and perhaps even the nation within the next decade.
When young men and young woman learn how to employ the fourfold
problem-solving and decision-making methods and use them in homes
and classrooms. And when they doubt elders responsible for wars
and mental; illnesses, then a new consciousness has arrived.
The POINT Club as it was
originally called, and Consciousness Four fulfill the criteria simultaneously
for cultural innovation and community altruism. These are qualities
of mind distinguishing humans from the apes and related primates.
When society becomes overburdened by costs too excessive from waging
wars and medicated children ostensibly mentally ill, they it may
be resist a well-begotten grassroots movement that is psychological,
neurologically and socially sound.
Evolution always favors
variation followed by selection from among alternatives, and then
a safe environment for diverse organisms to develop. Those believing
in human variation must accept four equally credible ways to perceive
the world. A good way for this lesson to be delivered to adolescents
would be to provide them with four perspectives on the world, and
to let their prefrontal lobes select from one or more of the streams.
Then comes a critical mass of adolescents and young parents to ask
of their elders and their teachers, It is 2009, Why not Consciousness
For Teachers Seeking Consciousness
Teachers can encourage
Consciousness Four by promoting in the classroom the teaching of
four different ways for the brain to perceive the world. Recent
research into Higher Nervous System Activity in humans establishes
a region called the anterior pole that surveys four streams of information,
selecting the path of action that best guarantees personal and community
Brain function can be
dramatized in the classroom by teachers encouraging youth always
to accept four ways to examine every problem. The class can name
these four ways after brain chemicals, after four ways of thinking,
or four quadrants of the brain. Frequently, the ways of thinking
are given the names of the primary colors plus green. The colors
are red, yellow, blue and green.
Four ways of looking at
the world, like four secretarial functions, can become more and
more natural as the days stretch into weeks and months. It hardly
takes long for youth to confront daily the Red, Yellow, Blue and
Green worlds surrounding them. The teacher, of course can help to
turn on the circuits in the children's brains by sharing with them
observations from a television show or movie or a magazine or a
To cite an example: Typing
these words on July 17, 2008, I can see how the newspaper USA Today
is running a news story on page 1A. Its title is, "Is this
the next baby boom?'. Its subtitle is: "'Perfect storm' of
factors helps create a milestone 4, 315,000 births in 2007? The
first paragraph confirms more births in 2007 than any other years
since 1957, at peak of the Baby Boom. The story is Page One because
American citizens today having to endure inflation and foreclosure;
health and energy costs; expensive food and education; most people
would assume less births now than in the past as is happening in
The teacher can then hold
up the newspaper giving the writer's explanation of why the perfect
storm has struck America. The writer proposes three factors responsible:
more immigrants having children, professional women delaying childbirth
until their 40s, and larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s
in the population keeping the fertility rate high. The writer assumes
these represent spontaneous trends arising, and a curious teacher
in the classroom stands up to ask, "It is 2008, Why were 4,315,000
babies born last year?"
Suddenly four ROLE-players
arise to sit at a table in the front of the room. They call themselves
Red, Green, Yellow and Blue. Red believes that the state opens its
borders to let immigrants flood in to have large families in America
that are profitable to industry. Yellow believes that the state
through soap opera producers floods television with popular programs
extolling pregnancy. Blue claims that it is the policy of churches
to oppose abortions multiplies the population. Then Green points
how it is government policy for educators to encourage sexual expression
Up pops a Secretary General,
self-appointed, without thinking believes that the perfect storm
being an increase in births reflects open borders, corporations
seeking profits, churches' doctrines, and the planted media stories.
She speaks authoritatively that this represents a perfect storm
of central planning in America rather than spontaneously arising
trends. The challenge to the elders leads to teens clapping, teacher
blushing and ideally everyone the organized inquiry lighting up
four colors, four brain transmitter circuits, four humors, and four
The teacher can persuade
the class about four colors by having them dress in one of four
colors of the human mind. This copies the wearing of school colors
when attending high school football games, basketball games and
football games. The end results are a higher value placed on thinking
and innovation as part of the teenager's normal life.