7 Passions is a universal model of life, evolution and fulfillment. It addresses the increasing complexity and challenges of our civilization. It examines life-force energy, passion, as a synergy of seven main qualities that are common factors to the diverse dimensions of life: Unity, Wisdom, Creativity, Love, Power, Happiness and Peace. It presents a unified perspective to the meaning of life as an evolution that fulfills the potential of this life-force energy. 7 Passions provides personal and social guidelines to support our global evolution and promote universal well-being in all areas of life.
"Life is an expression
of the universal passion
through every thought, feeling, intention,
breath, heartbeat, word and action."
The first part of this paper includes the description of a passion-based model of the universe and definitions of the terminology used in the model.
Passion is a desire for what we want. It relates us to the objects of our desires. In the sentence, I want it:
From an individual perspective, passion is an experience of the self - a human being, that is experiencing a desire - being passionate, to have an experience of well-being. The following examine these three forms of passion - human being, being passionate and well-being - and their common qualities.
We want what we perceive as well-being. We usually refer to it as a physical object or an activity. Further inquiries reveal that it's actually an experience that we want to have as a result of our desired objects and activities. Well-being is a state that has desirable qualities. There are seven main qualities that are generally considered as desirable:
We associate the qualities of well-being and want to have them in various areas of our life. We are attracted to them and repelled by qualities that negate them. They have corresponding patterns in all aspects of our humanity. Our physiology, biochemistry, psychology and behavior move us towards them and away from their opposites. Happiness, for example, is experienced as mental happiness, physical pleasure, social fun and environmental pleasantness. All our human faculties naturally move us towards them. Respectively, our mind-body systems operate instinctively to prevent and eliminate pain. Our life-force energy moves us towards joy and away from pain.
The physical energy in our muscles to take actions that move us towards well-being is apparent. The energy in the chemicals that are carried by our blood flow to move the muscles is less apparent but physically measurable. Similarly - our digestive system that process food to create this chemicals, our respiratory system that supplies oxygen, and our nervous system. The energy in the neurotransmitters in the brain send signals to operate our body to improve our well-being.
There are aspects of our humanity where life-force energy does not appear as physical or biochemical. Some of them have related processes with measurable or consistent observable patterns. Our thoughts are considered as abstract, but they have corresponding biochemical activities in the brain. More subtle levels of passion are not yet explained by physical sciences, but they can be experienced and explained by psychological, behavioral or spiritual theories. Their relationships may be vague, and they can be mysterious, surprising and even seem to contradict each other. Brain research is considered by many scientists as our current frontier.
Our passion can be identified also outside of our own body, for example in our relationships with other people. Our mental and emotional activities are greatly influenced by others. These social aspects of passion are our social energy.
We are also motivated by our non-human environment. Other living beings, nature and inanimate objects impact the quality of our lives and we impact theirs. They represent our environmental aspect of passion.
The universe can be perceived as a universal passion that is experiencing itself. Our collective passion is our total individual, social and environmental passions. They include the three forms of passion: the source of our desires, our desires themselves and the objects of our desires. The universe is the totality of all the life-force energy, the universal passion.
The total energy in a system, as we know, does not change - Unity. Forms of Energy can be transformed into other forms - gravitation, mass, electricity, magnetism, heat, light, waves, particles, blood-flow, muscles, thoughts, feelings, knowledge, home, family, relationships, society, money, awards, political power, oil, nuclear fusion, weapons, nuclear explosion. The numerical quantity of their totality is undefined since it's the entire universe. It may be zero, infinite, or any value.
Evolution is the development of 7 Passions in all aspects of life. The areas, aspects and qualities of life are interrelated through the flow of energy between them. Passion is transformed into different areas with various qualities. Wisdom transforms energy in some forms into others with more desirable qualities. For example, political power can use money both to increase compassion, which improves well-being, and also into control, which tends to dampen creativity and love. Knowledge is desirable because it increases the quality of life in most areas, but when used without compassion it can bring suffering. Heat energy is desirable and even essential to sustain life, but it can also be harmful. We can evaluate which activities and values contribute more to well-being by examining whether they're aligned with 7 Passions. Developing all of them is ideal. Sometimes it takes broad awareness of many aspects and areas of life for many individuals, societies, living beings and Earth. It fulfills the inert potential of the universal passion.
Fulfillment is the manifestation of 7 Passions in the various areas of life. Evolution fulfills the inert potential of the universal passion. Like a seed that has the potential to become a tree and manifest 7 Passions as roots, trunk, leaves, flowers, fruit, shade, beauty, a source of sustenance, home and food for animals, beauty for the eyes, an inspiration for a poet, a model for a painter, oxygen for our lungs, chemical balancing in the atmosphere and a living organ for the Earth.
We fulfill our potential when we evolve and develop 7 Passions in various areas of our lives. Awareness to each of the 7 Passions helps us to evaluate which qualities to put more attention on. Does it promote Unity, togetherness, harmony? Is it Wise? Do we encourage Creativity, freedom and authentic expression? Is it Loving, compassionate to ourselves, others, and other living beings? Is it Powerful, successful, sustaining? Does it promote Happiness, pleasure, happiness and fun to ourselves and others? Does it promote Peace of mind and heart, security and safety to ourselves and all living beings?
Part II of this paper provides specifications for 7 Passions. They can be used as universal benchmarks to evaluate the relative quality of life in systems and entities such as individuals, relationships, societies, organizations, operations, services, products, structures, eco-systems and environments.
The evaluation includes examination of the desired qualities in each aspect of the entity. Each aspect is also an entity that is an expression of the universal passion. The recursive evaluation of sub-systems brings more refined awareness. For example, to evaluate the overall well-being of a residential building, examine how Unity, Wisdom, Creativity, Love, Power, Happiness and Peace are expressed through the residents, owners, visitors, neighbors, city and the environment. Then observing the main aspects of each of the sub-systems, for example, for the residents, evaluate their physical health, emotional well-being, property, personal belongings, career, finance, relationships with each other and their neighbors, environmental well-being and personal growth.
Unity refers to unified experience of the three main forms of passion: I - the experience of the self, Want - the will and It - the object. It includes all areas, aspects and qualities in the universe and relates to it as a single entity.
The experience of the entire universe as one unit is also known as Oneness. Unity can also be observed within sub-systems. In relationships, for example, Unity is experienced as togetherness. Knowing that we are all manifestations of the universal passion brings awareness to our mutual creation of each other.
Unity is the most important factor for evolution. It unites the other qualities of the universal passion and promotes 7 Passion in all areas of life. When we operate from limited perspectives of separated individual selves, we may improve qualities of life in some areas in ways that are harmful to other areas. Unity with the universal passion provides full awareness how to create beneficial harmony that fulfills the potential of the universal passion.
The main challenges to experience Unity are due to the natural desires driven by its opposite - duality. Their limited consequences are usually clearer and more immediate than Unity. In this stage of our evolution it's important for us to be aware of our universal unity.
The intellect evolves by means of questioning, discernment, segmentation and classification. Focusing on these qualities alone creates mental separation and isolation between the universe's perceived objects. Creativity is driven by the desires for unique expressions that are different than the expressions of others. It enhances individuality and separation of the self from others.
Power is the accomplishment of a force that is applied to overcome resistance. We tend to perceive that the resistance is caused by a separate entity. Physical, emotional and social Happiness are often experienced by avoiding pain and separation from the perceived source of pain. When we wish for Happiness, pleasure and fun, it's important to be aware whether our activities to separate from pain in specific areas are aligned with the quality of life in other areas.
Wisdom is the combined knowledge and experiences of life. We enliven it both by learning theories and information and through direct experience. Therefore, we need to fully engage in life with all our internal faculties (body, emotions, insight, intuition and spirit) and external interactions (with people, animals, plants and the elements).
One of our main passions is curiosity, the desire to know and gain wisdom. It drives all aspects of our mind, body, spirit, relationships and environment, in our daily activities and roles. As students, we learn mainly with our mind when we sit in a lecture hall. In a dance class we also learn a lot with our body. When we develop love for our studies we learn with our heart. In an art class we express our creativity. We develop relationships with our teachers and other students. It develops compassion. Field trips add the dimensions of nature and the environment. Our passion for learning is also motivated by the desire to get a degree, acquire a profession, get a job, make money, fulfill our potential, help others and have a satisfying and respectful career.
In another other role, say, a tourist on a vacation, the passion for learning is different. There are many ways to merge all these dimensions. Our life has infinite possibilities. Let each set of parameters in this model be represented by a dot. Connecting all the dots is our evolution.
It's rewarding, but it may be frustrating and agonizing. All the possibilities don't always give us what we want. Our passion is not always fulfilled. We can't connect the dots as we wish. We cannot be both a student, a tourist, a musician, a football player, an astronaut, a surfer, a business manager, a yoga teacher and a mother for three teenagers all at the same time. Even when we experience well-being in some areas, in others we may not.
There are many routes to self-expression. Creativity can be explored through a variety of artistic disciplines. Commonly identified methods include drama, dance, music, creative writing and the visual arts, including photography. All these activities engage the participant/artist in a process that uses a holistic health framework to access physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. The benefits of creative expression do not end at any particular age, but many people are not given the opportunity to be artistic as they move into adulthood. Children, youth, adults and the elderly can all participate in creative or artistic expression. It can be utilized to express thoughts and feelings that are too big or too difficult to put into words. This can be especially helpful with people who have linguistic or cognitive issues that make creating a written or spoken narrative daunting.
One of the most engaging features of the creative process is that it facilitates moments of vitality and connection for those who choose to participate in it. Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources, describes the experience: "The arts address the idea of an aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which the senses are operating at their peak, when you are present in the current moment, when you are resonating with the excitement of this thing that you are experiencing, when you are fully alive." This experience is part of the enchantment that creative expression holds, the process connects us to our authentic self. Art can be the expression of our most inner selves, even of our souls.
Love is caring for the well-being, growth and fulfillment of ourselves and others. We enliven it by knowing people, appreciating their uniqueness, having compassion for their journey, and supporting them. We're naturally attracted to what we love. When we love our biochemistry promote desired qualities experiences of well-being in many areas of life.
One of main challenges of being Love is confusing it with feelings or other qualities. What many consider as a desire to feel romantic "love", are actually desires for Happiness and Peace through pleasure, fun and security. And the desire to be "loved", is driven mostly by desires for Power. Love is not a feeling. We can love even when we feel pain, sadness and anger.
Another challenge is our segmentation of Love. Sometimes, when we care for the well-being of ourselves, our family and friends, we take actions that support them but are harmful to others.
At this stage of our human evolution, we need to focus on developing Love at all aspects and areas of our lives, particularly having compassion for people that we perceive as separate from us for other living beings, and caring for their well-being.
When we choose to not take an action, we remain in the same state, or continue to do what we are used to doing under similar conditions. In physics it's explained by Newton's second law of motion. Since most of the moments in our lives we are choosing not to take an action, the most powerful force that determines our lives is momentum, our habits. Even people who are highly spontaneous and dynamic, consciously choose to take action only with a comparatively small portion of the opportunities presented to us.
This is why dramatic changes don't usually occur in our lives from one second to another. This is not a criticism. If it were not so, our bodies would have to exert energy at an unsustainable rate. We are designed to change gradually. It's like a big ship sailing in the ocean. The ship moves in a certain direction at a certain speed. If a swimmer touches the ship once and pushes on it in a certain direction, the change in the ship's course will be unnoticeable. But stronger, continuous, diversistent pushes on the ship will cause it to change its course or speed. This resistance is desirable - how dangerous it would be if a force so comparatively small were enough to drive the ship off its course!
Similarly, in the human system, a conscious decision to change may not create an immediate large physical change. There can be major changes in the mental and physiological activities, but the neurons and their interconnections remain the same. Our bodies' cells remain relatively unchanged, and eventually our physiology and thought patterns return close to their original state. This means that major long-lasting changes are not created in an instant. We can take advantage of this dynamic in several ways:
Happiness is experienced as emotional happiness, physical pleasure, mental delight and humor, environmental pleasantness and social fun. We don't want pain. These two desires, towards joy and away from pain, steer us in their respective directions. Happiness and pain are caused by specific brain activities that we interpret as pleasant or painful. These activities may be caused by many other neural connections, physical and mental associations.
Sensual touch, for example, creates pleasant sensations. On the other hand, being physically hit is painful. These sensations are created by neural connections in our own minds and bodies. We can keep them, strengthen them, or eliminate them, based on the results that we desire. The above associations of physical pleasure and pain are the most common, but some people interpret them differently. For some people in certain situations sensual touch may feel unpleasant, while hard physical contact is sometimes pleasant.
It's also important to be aware that the same activity may be experienced as both joyful and painful at different times. In particularly, we tend to engage in activities that result in immediate, short-term, joy, and have long-term consequences that are painful.
Peace is usually characterized as the absence negative qualities such as agitation, hostility, stress, confrontation and fighting. Mental, physical and social peace happen when there are no conflicting activities.
In general, when flows of energy conflict with each other, some of their energy is converted to other forms. When there's a friction between two moving objects, some of their momentum is converted to heat. A loss of kinetic energy is acceptable our intention is to generate heat. It has two main negative consequences. One, is that when Power is applied improve qualities in a desired direction, conflicts reduces its effectiveness. The energy efficiency of a car is reduced by head-winds. Also, the new form of energy may reduce other qualities of life. A flows of biochemicals and neurotransmitters that are intended to increase personal power, can also create physical and mental stress, which reduce most other qualities of life.
Within a complete system energy is never lost, only converted to other forms. The universal passion is ultimately completely peaceful. Subsystems tend towards equilibrium. The path of least resistance.
In addition to the apparent conflicts between Power and Peace, it's important to be aware how overemphasis on Peace may reduce other qualities. Mental peace may create serenity when alertness is important. It may also lead to dullness and prevent Creativity. Emotional peace can be experienced as apathy, which reduces Love and caring. Social peace for the self is commonly accomplished by limiting the freedom, power, joy and peace of others.
In this stage of our evolution, one of our main challenges is live in peace in all areas of life without compromising other qualities.
The universe can be perceived as life-force energy, passion, that creates itself in various forms. It has seven main attributes that are common to all these forms - 7 Passions. They provide a unified perspective that can be used as a universal benchmark to simplify the complexity of our decision-making and promote universal well-being in all areas of life.
LiOr Jacob, founder of Passion University, is a scientist and educator who pioneered passion-based education. He taught artificial intelligence at National University and conducted research in higher states of consciousness at Maharishi University. LiOr developed Passion Training and neurosomatic methods of conscious breathing, dance, tantra and shamanism, and founded Passion Center for wellness and sustainability.