# Glossary

# Art Earth Tech

Art / Earth / Tech was the original name for Life Itself. Art Earth Tech renamed itself to Life Itself in 2020.

# Dominator Hierarchies

See Growth Hierarchies.

# Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not condoning, can never be earned and is never deserved

It is created in language and means to give as before. It brings freedom.

It an act of creation that gifts freedom.

[Credit: Landmark]

# Enterprise

A bold undertaking.

Distinct from the company or any other legal entity or group of people.

# Growth Hierarchies

Wilber on growth and dominator hierarchies (in Trump and a Post-Truth World):

What Gilligan had stumbled upon was a truth now widely acknowledged by virtually all developmentalists: namely, that there are two major but very different types of hierarchies, usually called dominator hierarchies and growth hierarchies. Dominator hierarchies are all the nasty things that postmodern multiculturalists say they are: oppressive, power-driven, suffering-inducing, dominating. We see these in everything from the caste system to la cosa nostra–style criminal rings to slave networks everywhere. In these dominator hierarchies, the higher you go, the more people you can control and oppress. Growth hierarchies, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite. Where each higher level in a dominator hierarchy is more excluding and more oppressive, each higher level in a growth hierarchy is more inclusive and less oppressive (or, stated conversely, is more loving—and we actually have empirical research demonstrating this). Because of their unifying and integrating nature, growth hierarchies are often called “holarchies.” The evolutionary leaps that we are looking at in this presentation—the major developmental stages from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to integral—is exactly a type of growth holarchy. Each higher level is more inclusive, more caring, more loving, more conscious, and more embracing.

The archetypal growth holarchy in nature is the one that unites all of its fundamental units: this holarchy goes from quarks to atoms to molecules to cells to organisms. Each of those levels “transcends and includes”—it both transcends (or goes beyond) and includes (or fully enwraps) its predecessor: a whole quark is part of an atom; a whole atom is part of a molecule; a whole molecule is part of a cell; a whole cell is part of an organism. Each level is a whole that is a part of the next-higher whole. Arthur Koestler calls each of these units a “holon,” or a “whole/part,” a whole that is also a part of a larger whole. Reality in general is composed primarily of holons.

The central point is that, with these growth holarchies, the higher level does not oppress or enslave or dominate the lower level; it enfolds it, it includes it, it embraces it—if anything, it loves it. Cells don’t despise molecules, molecules don’t hate atoms—again, if anything, they love them, they embrace them. And the whole of evolution (at least as it has appeared so far) is the construction of these ever-higher, ever more whole, more unified, and more integrated elements—wholes that are parts of ever-higher wholes. This is the “order out of chaos”—the Eros—that leading-edge science sees as an inherent drive in the universe at large. And more to the point for us, it is an inherent drive in human beings as well—and any sane and comprehensive overview of human growth and development (not to mention any attempts at effective “social engineering”) would want to take these growth holarchies into account, starting right at the beginning.

# Landmark

Landmark Education and the Landmark Forum. Successor to est and founded by Werner Erhard. Landmark has a major positive impact and influence on Life Itself and much of its terminology has found its way into everyday usage and you can read more about Landmark’s terminology here: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Landmark_Education/Abd/Glossary (opens new window)

# Religion

Religion is, in part, a collection of beliefs and practices that honor spirituality. [David Sloan Wilson in Darwin’s Cathedral]

# Spirituality

Spirituality is in part a feeling of being connected to something larger than oneself. Religion is in part a collection of beliefs and practices that honor spirituality. A scientific theory that affirms these statements cannot be entirely hostile to religion. [David Sloan Wilson in Darwin’s Cathedral]

See https://lifeitself.us/2019/02/04/darwins-cathedral-david-sloan-wilson/#ode-to-a-future-culturology (opens new window)

# Triangles

From “Practicing with the Triangle” in Plum Village’s Joyfully Together:

In our daily activities as a Sangha, very often a relationship evolves into what we call the “triangle.” This is something that puts the happiness of the Sangha at risk. The triangle is created when one person in the Sangha is suffering, irritated, and upset at a second person and goes to a third person to complain. The one who is irritated has not yet learned to transform her suffering, to open her heart, to listen deeply, or to practice the art of loving speech. She is not able to go directly to the person whom she thinks is the cause of her suffering and talk to him. So she complains to her friend about the one who has made her suffer, pouring out all her dislike for him. This triangle can be established anywhere, in any community. It can also happen in our own family. Part of Sangha building is to prevent these triangles from forming. We have to find a way to stop it from blooming while it is still only a bud.

When we suffer and are not able to deal with our suffering, we search for someone who will listen to us. This is natural. Sharing our difficulties with a friend can be very beneficial. When we find a person who listens deeply, we already feel less suffering. If we were not allowed to talk about our difficulties and express our painful feelings, they would become like knots inside us. But if our brother or sister takes our side and joins us in blaming the third person, even though we may feel better, we will be forming a triangle. If we complain to someone and he takes our side in this way, it does not necessarily help us to suffer less. When we water our seeds of anger and ignorance these seeds will not have the opportunity and the right conditions to be transformed. Therefore we have to look deeply when we feel a need to look for someone to complain to.

All of us have also at some time or other had a friend come to us to complain. When our friend came to us we may have made a mistake and agreed to speak unlovingly about a third brother or sister. Therefore, we must practice how not to form the triangle. We should not turn away from our suffering friend and say: “I am sorry, I cannot listen to you complaining.” When someone who is suffering comes to you, please practice listening deeply with an open mind and compassion.

By listening deeply we will discover what is in the heart of our suffering friend. By not taking sides, we can also try to understand the person who helped cause our friend’s suffering. In telling her story, our friend may distort the truth because of her wrong perceptions, and after having listened deeply we can help her to see more clearly so that she will suffer less. As we express our love for our sister, we can help her undo her wrong perceptions and remind her that the other person may have been unskillful in one way, but that he has many good qualities as well. When we do this skillfully, her heart will soften and she will suffer less. We can also suggest that our sister and brother meet together, with us there to help them find peace and joy, and to help restore the happiness of the Sangha.

Sometimes we may also find ourselves standing outside a triangle. Sooner or later the triangle will damage the happiness of our community or family, and we will suffer also. In these times, we can also practice Sangha building by talking with our brothers and sisters in the triangle. Or if we feel we are not able to practice by ourselves, we can call on someone else, perhaps our teacher or an elder who has more skill, and ask him or her to help in resolving the matter.

In any Sangha, lay or monastic, the triangle is a tiny shoot that sprouts from the seed of division and unhappiness in the community. If the shoot continues to grow, the community will become more unhappy. Everyone in the Sangha has the duty to uproot the triangle before it can grow. This is the work of Sangha building, and it has been used in Plum Village for many years now.