Richard Hawley Powers Trowbridge, Ph.D., has spent a long life attempting to approach closer to an understanding of existence and the human situation. He began meditation practice at the New York Zen Center in the 1970s, and the study of civilization and Modernity in the 1980s. In 1994 a friend, Bolgen Vargas, suggested that he was striving to bring about self-liberation for humans, which led to the Self-Liberation Center for Human Development and a newsletter, The Possible Self. He attained a master’s degree in Philosophy in 1995 with a thesis on Two Major Worldviews (the Modern and the Holistic), while working for a small nonprofit in Rochester NY, The Spanish Action Coalition (1991-2001). Prior to this he spent a year at the Catholic Worker House in Rochester.
His doctoral dissertation, The Scientific Approach To Wisdom (available online) was an investigation of the empirical psychological research on wisdom. Following attainment of the doctorate in Human Development (2005), he taught for eight years at two junior colleges (mainly philosophy and English) and taught the pursuit of wisdom, and self-control of the mind, at two learning-in-retirement centers. For the past several years, half his main activity has been on 16th century philosopher Charles de Bovelles. A new Latin text of Bovelles’ philosophic works of 1511-12 has been completed, and now he is revising English summaries for the nine documents and the annotated translation of the main work Liber de Sapiente (The Book of the Wise). In addition, he spends much time meditating, with the goal of accessing that which appears when intrusive, habitual thoughts, feelings, and images have been minimized. He lives in rural Arizona.
About The Flourishing Earth Website
As far as “understanding existence and the human situation”, the website will explain in detail what this specifically means. Just for starters, reality is not at all like the world of everyday reality we take for granted, and not even imagined by most humans – ninety-nine percent? There are no separate, individual beings; and we are molded to an extraordinary extent by influences of which we are unaware. That is, by the history of our ancestors and all that affected them.
By the inner narrative which we don’t pay attention to – thinking and consciousness are usually not the same thing.
Perhaps by messages from very deep within, or possibly from very far away.
It is necessary to learn a new way of perceiving the world, seeing context as predominating over (while not replacing) individuality, and non-material messages as predominating over the material aspect. It would not surprise me if we are all picking up messages from other beings at a level that is unconscious but that influences us significantly. Many of my dreams are so unrelated to my daily life that it seems a stretch to assume they are reflections of my everyday experiences. I feel I have been guided since toddler-hood, and this feeling has grown stronger over the years. Many people feel they have been guided throughout their life, without investigating their suspicion.
But whatever the reality in this regard – and I would not bet a nickel that orthodox empiric science is capable of answering this question – humans are so lacking in awareness, love, empathy, critical thinking, self-knowledge, well-conceived priorities, values, and goals that now that I am old I realize that we are hardly conscious. Guys like P. D. Ouspensky and Don Miguel Ruiz (just two random names) have made this claim emphatically, and after a lifetime I cannot look at myself or the people I know or know about, and disagree. Humans have a very long way to go in order to attain full development in regard to love, critical thinking, wisdom, and full potential. There is nothing more important than educating ourselves and others about basic reality, to whatever extent we can. With such needless suffering and ignorance all around, caused to a large extent by human illusion in regard to what is real and what is important, it seems insane for those blessed with the post-Industrial Age abundance to consider their personal comfort or pleasure. We have been set into a world that is so extremely misguided, how can we have any other ambition than to help ourselves and others perceive clearly?
Speaking for myself, this educating usually consists in simply being patient and loving (not making things worse than they already are), and attempting to find those situations in which a lesson in awareness, critical thinking, empathy, self-questioning, etc., can be made – both for me and the other. The human reality needs to be reconstructed root and branch, beginning with becoming aware of the mind’s activity, which entails a lengthy regimen of mental training; and making a thorough, ongoing investigation of our own values and relationships – the context that is us. This moment, in which humans face perhaps their greatest threat at least since the end of the last ice age, may be the right time for such a reconfiguring of our basic sense of reality. Flourishingearth.org is an effort to contribute to that change of state. I hope you will join in bringing about this “greatest step of soul that humans have ever made.”
Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.