The Cosmic Lens | Michiel Doorn & Birgit Viertlböck

The Cosmic Lens

The following is an excerpt from The Cosmic Lens by Michiel Doorn & Birgit Viertlböck. It’s a featured Speakeasy selection, and there are still limited review copies available for qualified reviewers.

Why You Benefit From Reading This Book
Looking at the facts based on scientists and our own observations, things aren’t looking all that great for our planet right now. Climate disasters are following each other in rapid succession: droughts, fires, floods, temperature extremes, and so on. In addition, these are turbulent times in many economic, political, and cultural systems and the values they represent. Not surprisingly, on a personal level, many people seem to be in a constant state of elevated stress even if they don’t live in disaster zones. All this has been exacerbated by the recent COVID pandemic.

These are not random, isolated events. They are part of larger, interwoven systems. Causes have effects, and these effects become causes for yet more effects, which may even provoke each other. For example, economic decisions and their anticipated effects influence politics and the ensuing policy decisions (or lack thereof) have effects on people and the environment, which in turn affect the economy and the stress people are under, which in turn affects politics.

There hardly ever is just one cause and one effect; there are always multiple causes and multiple effects. Or in other words, we can never do just one thing that will have only one effect. This is not just a discernible worldly truth, it’s a mystical truth as well, true at both the larger systems and personal levels.

Imagine that it is possible to start recognizing and understanding the larger patterns of what is playing out in the world today.

Wouldn’t that help to alleviate, or at least reduce, a lot of stress, or even hopelessness or desperation? Wouldn’t that also help to bring a massive sense of empowerment and agency? Is it possible to learn how to better understand and navigate these flows in our disturbed times? We think it is, and that is what this book is about.

Do you know the expression “Not being able to see the forest for the trees.” Can we learn how to see the forest again, and not only the forest, but how that forest is part of a larger landscape, watershed, local climate? Can we see how the life-forms that inhabit that forest contribute to the flow of water, materials, pollination, and so on?

Evolution and associated transformation is the key principle of the Universe and of Earth, and also, therefore, of us. This can be put in religious or spiritual terms and it can also be put in hard-nosed evolutionary, biological terms. There is no (eco) system without connections, and connections imply that there is flow of energy, materials and information.

This book offers a tool to help you take a step back and learn how to observe and recognize the bigger picture of what is likely playing out in the world. Once you start recognizing these larger patterns, then you can also see which human actions align and which don’t. And you’ll see what’s needed to align and go with the flow, which will bring meaning, joy, and purpose.

Your Purpose and Passion
Once you start seeing something, a pattern, a behavior, a link, it becomes impossible to unsee. Once you see the connections, it becomes impossible to ignore them. So, seeing this grander perspective in and of itself is really empowering! But it also becomes a responsibility.

A quick word on purpose because it’s going to pop up many times in this book. We all have a purpose in life or perhaps more than one. Purpose may shift or become more clear over time, and that’s all fine. Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life—the reasons you get up in the morning. This can be a big purpose or a small one. Note that those are just labels that human egos have come up with.

Once you have gained a good bit of this grander perspective, placed it into context, and mastered any of the associated wisdom, you are called to apply it. You are evolving and transforming, changing. We believe many of us know that in our hearts. The question is how and where can you apply your unique skills and wisdom to make an impact without wasting precious energy or time.

The number of books on personal change and development is overwhelming. This book deliberately stays away from recommending a specific method or theory. Instead, it focuses on really getting this principle (of continual evolution and transformation) in its broadest implications. Really getting this principle is a spiritual leap and a necessary one. But isn’t that what the Universe/God may actually have been asking of us all the time? Except that now this is becoming more urgent. We believe the message of this age is loud and clear: “Hello humans! It’s now time to evolve and grow and do it fast!”

In fact, “the only thing that is constant is change.” Heraclitus said that around 500 BC and so have Buddhists. It’s an example of a natural law or principle. There is always transformation, so the sooner we really get this principle, the better off we are. And we can consciously work on our own evolution and also, of the world around us simultaneously. And in the meantime, have more peace of mind, time, and attention for family, community, and the environment. Later in this book, we will take a deep dive into this principle and other natural principles, because knowing and applying them as best you can is the key to optimizing your life in service of the whole and thriving in this disrupted world.

Are There Any Guaranteed Outcomes?
Of course there are no guaranteed outcomes. It’s just that we are at the end of a post-WW2 period where we rigged up human and technological systems that made it appear as if we can control everything and keep things the same or get them to grow, as in more of the same.

Once we accept that uncertainty is a given, that brings a kind of ease, a relief, which in turn helps us navigate the current situation. We embrace this uncertainty instead of fighting it. Isn’t it better to literally go with the flow and trust ourselves rather than build safeguards, walls, or dams and put all our hopes into such rigid structures? This principle and the associated invitation to evolution and transformation requires us to become agile and nimble, both in spirit and in practical life.

Uncertainty is inherent to transformation or change. When the path of life is uncertain, unexpected obstacles and challenges are likely to emerge. This is part of life, and we have a tendency to dread this. Yet, if this is so, wouldn’t it be possible that helpful, innovative insights and solutions can emerge just as well? Imagine how great it would be to become super adept at recognizing such “positive” emergence and knowing how to increase the likelihood of it happening, for ourselves and on a larger scale.

This book invites us to move from reacting to consciously making educated, best choices with trust and confidence to navigate the turmoil of these times with new wisdom and skills. Imagine that we set out with renewed confidence on our life’s journey, even if we don’t know what that future will look like and even if there is no proof.

Once we accept that we will not know what the future will look like, we can actually settle in, be present, skillfully navigate, and do the best we can for ourselves, our family, communities, and for all life on the planet and its ongoing evolution and unfolding.

Praise for The Cosmic Lens

The Cosmic Lens is a book that offers a needed spark of hope in our time of great confusion and conflict. It is written in an easy to understand style, tells a message with stories and quotes and thoughtful analysis. I recommend it heartily.”
Dr. Suzanne Cook-Greuter, Independent Scholar, internationally known as the leading expert in mature ego development and self-actualization

“I read this book enjoying every moment, at this point in time when we are surrounded by chaos and living in uncertain times. The Cosmic Lens is helping me determine where I can contribute more effectively with hope, integrity and joy to the global social and environmental causes I am passionate about and I will use this approach over the next few decades.”
Amazon Reviewer

“At last, a practical working framework for survival of the human psyche amid constant change. Michiel Doorn presents a unique perspective on the way forward from both a worldly and a spirituality based foundation. He honors our culture’s arrival to this point in our existence and gives homage to principles of natural law that enlighten internal evolution as an antidote to withdrawal. Our movement toward purposeful living in a challenging world now has a map to guide and direct our efforts. Buy this book. Do the work. Watch as positive changes emerge.”
Amazon Reviewer

About the Author

Michiel DoornMichiel Doorn is one of the world’s foremost Spiral Dynamics experts using this model to assess how individual and/or organizational value systems can be nudged to change and better aligned. He has been a consultant and coach for most of his career. He has a master’s degree in applied resource sciences from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, ranked by QS World University Rankings among the top 10 engineering and technology universities in the world. Michiel lives in North Carolina and has worked in the Netherlands, Germany and the Caribbean. He has a son and three grandchildren.

Birgit ViertlböckBirgit Viertlböck an expert in self-healing—she helps people to free themselves from their fears, blockades and traumas in order to regain access to themselves and their self-healing powers. She has a PhD and a habilitation in veterinary medicine and worked for 17 years at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Munich in research and teaching. There she pursued basic research in the field of immunology and was awarded numerous prizes for this. Since 2019, she has been a naturopath and coach and now works in human medicine in her private practice and with all her methods online as well. She lives in Munich and has four children.

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