1. "Reality" is a subjective perception. It is not fully accessible. There is no one accessible true reality. Humans are limited to using their own perceptual abilities, and these are, by nature, specific to that human. They are necessarily, then, limited, biased, conditioned by education and subject to great misunderstanding.
2. Due to the subjectivity of all human perceptions, it is remarkable that we agree upon almost anything. However, it turns out that we have many common general interests. Among them are the desire for a “good life” of some sort, the desire to be loved and/or respected, a desire for family of some sort, and usually a desire to contribute something to our community or culture. These may manifest in a variety of forms.
3. We are social animals. We are interdependent by design or nature, needing others in order to achieve more complex goals. While a few of us may be able to survive off the land … most need, and see the value of, a life with higher goals than survival … hence … we learn we must interact with others in mutually beneficial ways. In short, we learn that we need help to do many things and that we need to help others if we hope to be helped ourselves.
4. Expanding in scale from the simple perceptions one, two and three … we may see that all people depend on one another … that all people have subjective perceptions of Reality, that all people must interact with one another in mutually supportive fashion so that all people may have at least a modest chance for a comfortable life and general happiness.
5. Recognizing that reality is and can only be perceived in a subjective manner, we necessarily have to give up the notion that OUR REALITY IS REALITY. Our reality is an image we create in our minds, highly colored by our experience, early and ongoing education (informal as important as formal), the zeitgeist of our culture, our specific immediate interests, long-range goals, etc. Comprehending this deeply, we can leave off with the age old effort to try to get everyone to believe exactly what we do, see exactly what we see and admit that our version of reality is THE TRUTH. It cannot happen, will not happen and world wars are the extension of this ridiculous mission to get people to submit to MY PERCEPTION AND TO MY VIEW OF WHAT SHOULD BE!
6. Rather, time is productively spent finding ways where your perception and mine are compatible, where yours might enhance or extend mine and vice versa, where I can learn from you and you from me. We may look for ways where we can support one another, focusing more on what we have in common than on what divides us. Importantly, accepting that we are different instead of trying to force everyone into our pattern… we can come to appreciate the diversity, and find ways in which all the variations of human manifestations can co-exist in healthy, mutually sustaining, creative and productive ways.
I think the six premises listed provide a basis for individual, small group and macro scale interactions, if understood, adopted and maintained. What would be your handful of operative premises for a better planet, for better relationships? What do you think of these six?