Civilization, Productivity, and Happiness
As a civilization, we have made remarkable technological advances. So, why do we still treat employees like servants? “Bossing” is and has been all about bigger better faster. When management tries to elevate a servant-employee to something more enlightened, cracks in the walls of bigger better faster appear. So how do we go about finding the 5D managers we need now? What is a 5D manager anyway?
What’s the answer? How do we keep production up and people happy? How could managers, particularly at the level between employees and the C-suite, become more skilled at everything else – the parts of a sustainable enterprise that steer around the disaster of the bigger better faster?
As always, our collective task is to discover what works primarily through trial and error, test theories and prove management theory, and even revive and sharpen formerly-discarded ideas and practices. Even though there are components of civilization – what we learned from history, for example – that weigh down that process, as well as advancements that might lighten the load, here we are still wading through the swamps on our way to a better future – doing it the hard way, instead of looking to proven wisdom – “settled science” we might call it these days.
Right in the middle of the opportunity are managers and workers locked into three-dimensional processes while all around them there’s a push for change – a fundamental shift in how things get done. That “how” has begun to morph from all the coercive styles and techniques of the last few hundred years to something else: compassion, kindness, collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion, gratitude. These attributes of human behavior welcome a new kind of “how,” but they are also grounded in universal ancient self-evident wisdom. They are an invitation to identify a “5D” or fifth-dimensional practice.
Real Advancement Through Ancient Wisdom…and Science
The advancements we want to consider here aren’t coming from innovative or disruptive businesses or the latest PhD in Human Resources. In fact, in many ways, the advancements we need already exist right along with the evidence for their effective deployment. Many human technologies that work well have been around for thousands of years. The revitalization of interest in practical Stoicism is one great example. It follows a general trend toward a more enlightened understanding of the cooperative effort that began with the so-called American Enlightenment in the 1800s.
In another example close to my field, the scientific inquiry around music has been playing catch-up with solid facts and evidence musicians have known for ages, but in no way has the science around music reached a level of awareness that could be considered predictive of consciousness. Science cannot yet measure or predict music’s effects on the positive human attributes that 5D managers want for their teams, even though those effects are evident to most people with a basic understanding of the power of music. Scientific exploration of music is still in the intervention stage: we have proved that music is a safe and powerful tool for messing with states we don’t like, and, like other trending tools for intervention such as mindset and emotional intelligence, this is an indication that consciousness is evolving.
Read that again: in no way has the science around music reached a level of awareness that could be considered predictive of consciousness. This is vitally important because, unlike any other modality, music works safely and effectively on the human system at every level: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual/consciousness.
In no way has the science around music reached a level of awareness that could be considered predictive of consciousness.
In spite of unsettled science, we musicians successfully use the power of music to change entire stadiums of people at once, safely and holistically: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually/consciously. (If you haven’t seen it, follow that link to the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show, which the NFL won’t allow me to embed here.) Music therapists use music to help clients make a permanent, healthful change. Music and sound healers know music works. Wouldn’t skills like that be valuable in business?
The primary question here is one for which science lags far behind: why would we want to anticipate an effect on anyone’s consciousness? If we can do that, we can make permanent positive changes. And don’t we want permanent positive changes? How much longer will we wait for science to explain consciousness with the possibly-incorrect assumption that the explanations will be predictive in a productivity-positive manner when we already know how to use music to make positive, consciousness-based change now? We could use music now to fast-track the development of those human attributes of 5D! As well as being demonstrably holistic, music is one of those self-evident modalities almost anyone can use for good.
It’s time we developed some skills to bring the real power of music into connection with today’s opportunities, not simply as background or entertainment, but as a business tool to promote a healthy shift towards 5D consciousness, to exponentialize the way we have been doing things for good. The absolute tyranny here is that how we do things has gotten off the rails in service of why we do them, and that’s just not sustainable in 3D without breaking things and hurting people. Exhibit A: world politics, world economics, world environmental sustainability. You get the picture.
The Technology of Improved Consciousness
There’s no going back from a change in consciousness. Think of the one (and hopefully only!) time you touched a hot stove or wet paint: did you learn anything from that experience? On a larger scale, civilization generally accepts that peace and joy are preferable to angst and fear. These distinctions are evidence of practical consciousness at work. Other recent examples include the broader acceptance of gender fluidity in the wake of the gay civil rights movement, integration of cultures around common objectives such as inter-racial marriage or DEI, and widespread freedom movements in oppressive nation-states worldwide.
But back at the office…
At the very least, can we agree that coercing workers to do things bigger better and faster will eventually frustrate them? Even with the best tools and most inviting work environments, there’s only so much that anyone can do before it’s quitting time. And, in these early days of the transformation of management consciousness, the evidence is clear: people deserve more, and they are walking away from environments that don’t offer the right kind of more.
Enslaved people and indentured servants have known what today’s workers know: sacrifice is not the same as the Golden Rule. Rather than a great reorganization or great resignation or great reshuffle, could we be in the moment of a great awakening, a great shift of consciousness around employment?
How does a skilled manager respond to this opportunity?
The 5D Manager
A great example of 5D management technology is The Golden Rule. Its many appearances in wisdom and religious literature throughout the ages are still with us because they work. Kindness, compassion, equity, and inclusion are the more obvious modern technologies associated with this ancient wisdom. Unfortunately, a counterweight of implied sacrifice around employment short-circuits the Golden Rule: giving the best one has to offer in service to a job no longer fits the paradigm of equitable work.
How does a manager stuck between the three-dimensional demands of bigger better faster and the invitation to a more skillful relationship with employees implement an improvement in consciousness? Managers in that position have one of the boldest and most significant opportunities of our era: to become more “5D.”
What does “5D” mean in practical terms for a manager?
“5D” exists as a process opportunity to elevate consciousness. The term points to something better than why stuff works and, most importantly, an invitation to better how everything currently works. “5D” is both an acknowledgment that civilization is ready to move beyond all the paradigms and technologies that have brought us this far and a humble understanding that we may not know precisely how to identify and implement what comes next. In no way does it mean a give-up or a backdown. Instead, it faces the necessary limits around gainful employment and skillful management without fear and offers a safe landing zone for fresh ideas.
For context, here’s the 30,000-foot view of how that kind of shift appears in modern history.
Some Examples of 5D in Action
Civilization’s multi-century fascination with bigger better faster has caused us to align fresh ideas with innovations and advancements in productivity, often to our detriment. As feudal lords and enslavers discovered, meeting an economic opportunity at the expense of human rights was unsustainable. Excusing that paradigm through either the “divine rights of royalty” or “fear of the other” was ignorance that became practiced widely in the most destructive ways. As America experimented with a fresh idea of equality in its founding documents, it got harder to implement true freedom in the face of a substantial economic opportunity for some Americans, and America is still struggling with its evolution away from that fact.
American workers struggle with the underlying, possibly less-than-enlightened assumption that there is a direct relationship between economic opportunity and sacrifice. Standing on the shoulders of Americans who freed slaves, today’s 5D manager questions the wisdom of linking economic opportunity and sacrifice and considers innovative alternatives to coercion that might be fair for employers and employees in ways where this relationship has been less than equal in the past.
The 5D manager looks at servant leadership, for example, and finds nothing wrong with the attitude of service towards employees but still wrestles with the aspect of an implied sacrifice that tinges the joy of the whole enterprise. Is there a more effective way to equalize the risk/reward of working for a living? Is an economic system that concentrates wealth for a few at the expense of the many a Golden Rule system? If not, what would a more equitable system look like, and how would it work? What can the 5D manager do to affect a new kind of justice in the workplace?
The 5D manager realizes that answers to these big questions are part of the experience of living in this era and stays curious and expectant rather than forceful. Despite massive disengagement by employees, the supply chain disruptions of today’s last-minute economies, and rising world awareness of freedom that could upend entire coercive systems, the 5D manager remains confident that the best ideas – even some genuinely novel ones – will find a way to take root and grow. The 5D manager understands the crucial work of the moment is to recognize these new, more consciously-aware ideas and nurture their growth.
Let’s be very clear: the process is slow and evolutionary as much as we want to get it right now. We can identify the end state we want, but a purposeful walk toward that end state is highly individual and doesn’t always work the way it does on paper. Mindset, servant leadership, emotional intelligence, motivational theory, the Harvard Business Review, and all the business gurus so far have brought us to where we are right now. There’s still plenty of room to improve, otherwise, there wouldn’t be an echo chamber of best-selling 3D books saying the same things over and over.
How to Know if You’re in 5D
The easiest way to discover what’s not 5D is to watch the 3D best practices failing right now. Those failures are 3D coming to its logical end. What happens next is the opportunity to turn away from 3D and toward something else. It’s quitting without knowing what happens next. It’s taking a year off to raise the kids when your spouse passes away. It’s turning off the news. Doing a technology cleanse. These aren’t specifically 5D activities, but they offer a way to clean the personal slate of what hasn’t worked (3D) and prepare the landing zone for the arrival of 5D concepts.
To purposefully welcome 5D ideas, one also needs a kind of sandbox – a workbench to try out the new 5D ideas before deploying them in real life. This practice test environment could be individual, such as a search for a unique opportunity to do meaningful work, or collective, as in guiding a team into a new way of participating in the enterprise. Since all the 5D testing will happen in real life on a production platform, we must treat this as an opportunity to simultaneously practice the 5D skills we want right there on the job – to get them as close to fine as possible while still doing the regular daily tasks. The challenge with the personal and corporate invitations is that we can’t shut things off indefinitely while we try out the alternatives. Compassion, kindness, equity, and inclusion work equally well in Customer Care as in Engineering, and who wouldn’t enjoy more of that in one’s personal life, too? So let’s get to it.
Still, how do we manage the dissolution of systems that don’t work while simultaneously experimenting with and deploying new/old methods that we suspect will work better? You’re on the path to 5D management if you ask that question.
It’s not enough to mandate the Golden Rule, for example, or just eliminate sacrifice from an entire enterprise by fiat. As lovely as that would be, civilization advances iteratively and individually, then in small groups, until finally the more significant portion of society “gets it,” and there are always both early adopters and laggards in the process. We can look at oppressive regimes or progressive societies in today’s world both as bookends around the expression of consciousness in the macro and for helpful how-to as we start to get it right.
Because it’s close to home for me, I feel that America has been a testbed for an understanding of freedom that didn’t exist in the pre-American era. Since that time, many other nation-states have experimented with representative democracy. Other nation-states do not embrace democracy, often to the detriment of the majority of their citizens. There are issues with all the various forms of government and the economic systems, and they all offer us instruction in the differences between 3D and 5D consciousness and practices.
Suppose that freedom, diversity, equity, and inclusion are the standards we value today. In that case, it becomes easy to identify the kinds of consciousness that support these standards and the kinds of consciousness that do not. Based on the evidence, we can then choose to emulate a particular level of political or group consciousness that we feel works best and diligently offer the invitation to that consciousness more widely. Conversely, we could choose to provide a more oppressive kind of consciousness and then experience the results of that offering, such as we can observe in real-time with conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Individually, the oppressive consciousness could be analogous to how the 3D manager has been successful in the Industrial and Post-Industrial Ages. The threat to 3D management in our present era is clear: intimidation and coercion aren’t working anywhere near as well as they used to even fifty years ago. Ask anyone allied to the #MeToo or #BLM or transgender movements: practitioners of coercive methods must go.
Are You a 5D Manager?
People who have been experimenting with 5D concepts in their personal lives have a golden opportunity right now. Practice leads to mastery, and the urgent need is for practiced people – both employees and managers – who have real-world practical experience moving consciousness to 5D.
Nay-sayers and “we’ve always done it this way” voices notwithstanding, the new 5D manager builds confidence with durable and self-evident practices that are time-tested and proven throughout history. They “do 5D” with results won through experience; they have tested the practicality of 5D technologies like the Golden Rule. They have seen the futility of servant employment, brain-only mindset, and aware-less emotional intelligence based on a ruleset instead of the truly holistic embodiment of evolved consciousness. And they are ready to help lead teams in this newly crucial direction.
In simple terms, the movement from 3D to 5D isn’t about a goal. It’s about a new, more consciously-aware way of doing processes. It’s a turn away from the tyranny of “why.” It turns toward a focus on what “why” can never give us: a more perfect how.
Let’s hear that again in another way: success at any cost is no longer acceptable success.
If our goals are lofty, why have we permitted the achievement of them at any cost? Why have we coerced sacrifice for so long? That’s tyrannical! We’ve been married to this method of success because it has been the best so far, but we’ve enslaved employees and burned-out managers to it. Economies that have come to depend on coercion, whether communist or capitalist, simply aren’t sustainable. We can and must do better.
One way to do that is to discover durable 5D practices that work individually and collectively. If you align with that, you’re becoming a 5D manager.
Support for Practical 5D
There must be thousands of well-supported YouTube channels that offer insight and vision, as well as millions of people who have some idea that a significant shift in consciousness is upon us. Any number of experts, seers, and authenticity leaders predict, forecast, and encourage this shift in consciousness. You can find them working in sectors ranging from “spirituality” to “leadership.” We need all of these voices. Awareness offered by spiritual seers, self-help gurus, and others with genuinely innovative vision is just as necessary as practical implementation by DEI consultants, civil rights advocates, and helpful spirituality teachers such as ministers, gender fluidity trailblazers, and real-world heroes bringing their traumatic and peak experiences into change-related opportunities.
However, the fact is that unless and until each one of us makes an individual, practical commitment to improving consciousness, nothing truly sustainable will happen. Think of the last motivational speaker you heard: was the learning fully implemented? How long did the inspiration last? Practices for changing and sustaining consciousness are hard, and it’s much simpler to watch the videos or listen to audiobooks or take a psychedelic journey now and again than to fundamentally change how we think. But the rewards of the practical, real-world practice of 5D consciousness are durable and well worth the effort, especially when the self-evident principles of 5D take hold.
Here are just three examples of potential 5D practices. With sustained intent, they reward us with improved consciousness.
1) Yoga and meditation combine to be a 5D practice, provided they are not practiced merely for relaxation, to de-stress, or aerobic exercise.
2) Practiced as a purposeful ritual and not merely as an escape, psychedelic journeys are an open invitation to a durable advance in consciousness. Most crucial for psychedelic journeys is the integration of their insights into real life. A powerful psychedelic intervention exponentializes the shift in consciousness from 3D to 5D.
3) Prayer and worship focus consciousness both inward and outward and have the potential for reaching beyond the walls of mere religion towards more boundlessly powerful inclusivity.
The test of these examples is whether the practitioner can publicly make their personal experience practical. That’s not to say that insight from the practice isn’t supposed to be shared, which is essential. Still, the evolution of consciousness must become part of the practitioner’s daily walk in the world. Without that, we lose a significant transformational opportunity.
That more significant transformational opportunity is the nexus between knowing one’s 5D truth and genuinely living it with intent in the messiness of our 3D world.
Support for the 5D Manager
The 5D manager’s job is two-fold. First, to go deep into the personal journey of their individually evolving consciousness. Then, to bring what’s learned from that journey into connection with their team’s real-life experience doing meaningful, productive work. A guru or teacher is most helpful to jump-start the process. Still, the 5D manager goes beyond their moments of enlightenment to bring self-evident, specific, and practical 5D understanding into their team. Finally, the 5D manager must guide their team into the appropriate realization of their collective evolution of consciousness as it connects to the specifics of their professional and group objectives. That’s a huge challenge. Many with 5D experience simply ignore it or say it’s not their responsibility. If I’m awake, the saying goes, why worry about the others?
That’s a mistaken dodge away from the burden of 5D consciousness. It’s not enough to get enlightened if you don’t reflect that light.
Support for the process practicality of 5D management is growing but still in its infancy. It may take several generations before 5D concepts catch hold more widely. But there is a modality that most everyone uses with some level of awareness that could be the temporary bridge many of us need to begin the journey from 3D to 5D. That modality is not modern, and its use is not innovative, and although its true power has been forgotten by many, that doesn’t make it any less potent as a tool for managing our growth from 3D to 5D. You’ve already heard about it earlier in this article: that modality is music.
Music and 5D Management
Musicians are skilled at the deployment of transformational tools and understand their effects. Unlike gurus and shamans who point out the light at the end of the tunnel, musicians have active, durable experiences with their transformational modality. They regularly help large groups walk towards that light. Isn’t it time musicians purposefully broke the fourth wall and invited a more comprehensive implementation of music as a transformational tool for organizations and managers that have reached the end of 3D’s potential?
Experience with music liberated from mere entertainment is many thousands of years old and offers solid evidence that “the power of music” exists. Consider the positive effects of music in health, education, purposeful and sustainable motivation, and, most importantly, change of consciousness. With all that potential, why are we still delighting in how a functional MRI reveals the way our head brains respond to sound and rhythm? That’s truly amazing to see, but why are we waiting on science before using the proven technology of music and consciousness more widely?
If you are a tapped-out 3D manager looking for a way forward, connect with Music Care (for clarity, that’s not the Recording Academy’s amazing humanist not-for-profit, MusiCares, but the practical heart skills consulting educator of consciousness practices). Your professional capabilities and life experience are guaranteed to change powerfully, permanently, and for good, once you remember and develop skills to use the consciousness-improving power of music as a practical bridge to 5D management.
It’s often helpful to define a new concept by referencing what it is not. Don’t take that bait. Shift focus to what we want (to make progress toward 5D) and away from what we don’t want (more flailing around in 3D). Rather than beat the drum of why, let’s anticipate the evolution of how things are done – the transformation of the processes themselves. Having a big why can help this transformation, but the 5D managers of tomorrow will anticipate the actual achievement cost of success and implement processes based on the best human attributes that simultaneously minimize coercion and sacrifice while maximizing goodness for all.
The rewards of 3D, as tempting as they are, are ending. There are only so many billionaires 3D can sustain. The authentic opportunity is no longer with bigger better faster and the hustle economy that goes with it; no servant leader or emotionally intelligent why-based manager or worker need suffer from 3D any longer.
It takes stress to evolve and courage to recognize transformation when one is in the middle of it. We are. Boldly go. That is all.
Thank you to the Unsplash photographers who contributed their time and talent to the images in this article: