I refer to the third worldview – security through power and strength – as State Awareness. This worldview first appeared around 5,000 years ago. During the era of this worldview villages grew into towns, towns grew into cities and cities were fortified to protect the citizens. States ranged in size from several hundred thousand to several million citizens. Statehood – the State in which we were born and raised – is the primary differentiator of identity in the worldview of State Awareness.
People survived by trading, farming and animal husbandry. As the wealth of the city states grew, they formed permanent armies. To pay for the upkeep of the armies, citizens were required to pay taxes.
The concept of honour and shame became firmly established during the worldview of State Awareness. Preserving and defending family honour and avoiding family shame are significant aspects of this worldview.
Justice in State Awareness was extremely unfair. The punishment of transgressions for those in the upper strata of the hierarchies of power was always less severe than for those in the lower strata. If the aggressor had a lower status than the victim, the punishment was more severe; if the aggressor had a higher status than the victim, the punishment was less severe.
Justice was administered through physical mutilation of the body. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth were considered normal in the administration of justice in the worldview of State Awareness. Death and maiming were considered suitable penalties for many infractions. To demonstrate the leader’s power, punishments were administered in public and drew large crowds. Watching men fight each other to the death or being caged up with wild animals were regarded as spectator sports.
Populations were stratified into hierarchies of power (landowners), knowledge (priests) and wealth (traders). The most powerful – those who could raise the largest army – ruled. At the bottom of the hierarchy were women, servants and slaves. Women were regarded as the personal property of the father or husband and could be treated in whatever way the father or husband decided – basically women had no rights and could not hold property.
Health and healing in State Awareness focused on the use of traditional natural medicines and sacrifices to the gods – both animals and humans.
Around 5,000 years ago, the leaders of city states started building empires: they invaded other states, plundered their riches and slaughtered their people. Those they did not slaughter – mostly women – they captured and made into slaves to be sold in their home state to the highest bidder.
From roughly 3,000 BCE to the 6th century AD, over 47 empires were created, most of which lasted for only two or three centuries. However, some, like the Roman Empire and the Chola Dynasty in India, continued for more than 1,500 years. Over the next 1,500 years (from the 6th century to modern times) a further 135 empires were created. Some of these empires, particularly those created from the 7th century to the 15th century, were driven from the worldview of Nation Awareness (the spread of monotheistic religions), and others from the 16th century to the 19th century were driven from the worldview of Wealth Awareness (establishment of colonies for commercial trade).
How the worldview of State Awareness shows up today
In the worldview of State Awareness, leaders have absolute power; they are feared by those around them and they consider themselves above the law. If citizens’ loyalty to the leader is questioned, they can be locked up for a very long time or expect some form of immediate retribution – torture or death. Fear is rampant in nations operating from the worldview of State Awareness, and caution is everywhere.
Leaders never feel safe. There is always someone in the wings waiting to grab power. For this reason, leaders in the worldview of State Awareness are extremely wary of those around them: there is intrigue and plotting everywhere. No one can be trusted, not even the members of the leader’s inner circle. Only the most powerful, the most fear-inducing and the most scheming leaders survive for significant periods.
Leaders who operate from the worldview of State Awareness demand loyalty and require constant praise and adoration – they need their egos stroked. They want what they want, when they want it, and you had better beware if you are unable to deliver it or if you cross them in any way. Corruption is rife in the worldview of State Awareness.
Leaders who operate from the worldview of State Awareness are usually men and, depending on their religion, either have several wives and many offspring or a succession of trophy wives. In the worldview of State Awareness women are subservient to the needs of men. They are little better than servants or slaves and are often treated as sexual objects.
Leaders in the worldview of State Awareness take pride in displays of military strength and accomplishment. They need such demonstrations to feed their self-esteem: they want to feel powerful and they need to show off their strength. They may even resort to displays of perceived manhood or by making public appearances with beautiful women. They like to father numerous male children. Female children are less welcome.
Leaders operating from the worldview of State Awareness will lie, cheat and manipulate to become top dog. Corruption and bribery are everywhere. This is the worldview of despots and dictators and all those who use fear to manipulate others to gain power. The leaders of State Awareness nations use secret police to monitor citizen activities: hundreds and thousands of people can easily disappear, never to be heard of again. When necessary they use the military to quell dissent and demonstrations. Consequently, citizens are afraid to demonstrate against the regime.
Discrimination is everywhere in the worldview of State Awareness. The worldview of State Awareness spawned white and black supremacists, as well as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi political movements. Homophobia is rife: people who are homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or transsexual are not tolerated. If they are discovered, they are severely punished
Many aspects of the worldview of State Awareness can be found in the Mafia, in street gangs and in networks of drug barons. These groups embrace the concept of machismo – exaggerated forms of masculinity.
The right to bear arms is strongly defended in the worldview of State Awareness, as is the killing and taming of wild animals and the mistreatment of domestic animals. Sports that inflict pain on another human being, such as boxing, or creatures, such as bullfighting, dogfighting and cockfighting, are part and parcel of the worldview of State Awareness.
The cosmology of State Awareness
There was a significant shift in cosmology with the advent of State Awareness, from reverence for the spirits of ancestors to reverence for a pantheon of gods; each god being responsible for a specific aspect of human life. In Roman times, some of the gods included Mars, the God of War, Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, and Neptune, the God of the Sea. Everything imaginable, including all the forces of nature, had a god or goddess in charge. Animal and human sacrifices were used to appease the gods. Polytheism is still practised today in Chinese traditional religion, Hinduism and Shintoism. Modern-day nations operating from the worldview of State Awareness tend to embrace a variety of cosmologies – both traditional religions and global religions such as Christianity and Islam.
Correspondence with the differentiating stage of development
The worldview of State Awareness corresponds to the differentiating (3) stage of psychological development – a focus on personal recognition through displays of power and physical strength, or beauty and sexiness. When children and teenagers are neglected or abused by their parents, they may resort to bullying to get their self-esteem needs met. Because of these early life experiences, they choose to be recognized through the exercise of power. They are trying to meet their unmet needs from childhood. They seek revenge for anything they believe to be an affront. As adults they tend to become manipulative, aggressive and misogynistic. They are easily consumed by rage.
The principal behavioural markers of the worldview of State Awareness are:
· Rules defined by powerful elites
· Impulsive decision-making
· Hierarchies of power
· Honour and shame
· Women treated as sexual objects
· Rape is rarely punished
· Sports that involve violence or death
· Justice administered by physical mutilation or death
· Elites are rarely punished
· Torture is acceptable
· Cruelty to people and animals.
The transition to Nation Awareness
Originally the transition from the worldview of State Awareness to the worldview of Nation Awareness occurred because the rivalry among leaders made the governance of the state almost impossible to manage. Nation Awareness brought stability to this chaos by creating monarchies with lines of succession and elevating the importance of religion to the state level. Nowadays, international political pressure and commercial sanctions are used to ‘persuade’ nations to move from the worldview of State Awareness to the worldview of Nation Awareness – from authoritarian regimes to flawed democracies.