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An important message from John and Carla Sherman

Dear friends,

We believe that what we are about here is radically different from everything that has gone before. We believe, for example, that the sole cause of all pathological personality traits in human beings is the fear of life. We believe that fear of life comes upon us accidentally at or near our birth, and we believe that all hatred of self and others, all greed, all pathological aggression, all narcissistic preoccupation with self and lack of regard for others are the fruit of that fear.

We know that anyone who will try to do the simple movement of the mind's eye that we call 'looking at yourself' will see the sense of fearfulness and distrust that ruins the experience of life quietly dissolve. And when the fear is gone, it's gone for good and in its absence, a profound regeneration of the personal psychology begins that culminates in full reconciliation with our own lives. We go sane, and our ability to use the light of natural human intelligence begins to blossom and to bear new fruit. We fall naturally into love with our lives. It's that simple.

We know all this to be true because of our own shared experience over more than thirteen years together, and also because of the reports we receive from thousands of people all over the world who have done this ridiculously simple act and are themselves experiencing that reconciliation in their own lives.

The act of looking that causes this is a perfectly natural and easy movement of attention, and it is just as natural and easy to suggest it to friends and acquaintances. It is, in fact, so easy to do, and its harmlessness is so self-evident, that just listening carefully to its description will most likely cause it to be done on the spot. And once it's done, all that follows is automatic and, so far as we can see, irreversible.

Click to watch a video in which people all over the world speak about how the looking has changed their lives.

Carla and I, together with a growing number of people all over the world, believe that this simple act offers the possibility of nothing less than the full redemption of human life for all human beings.

With that in mind, we have developed a project with the sole purpose of bringing the suggestion to look at yourself to the ears of at least ten percent of all of humanity within the next three to five years. We seek ten percent because that percentage of people has been proven to constitute a critical mass from which news of the act of looking, its promise, and its results should spread like wildfire throughout the entire species.

The project has two components:

1. A grassroots campaign

First and most importantly, we will develop a comprehensive grassroots campaign to spread the news of what weÂ're doing in the ordinary way humans speak with one another about their lives.

People who join us in this grassroots effort will learn and teach one another how to use personal ads in local newspapers, letters to editors, public bulletin boards, bumper stickers, business cards and the like to bring the basic idea of the looking to the wider public.

But the most effective means of bringing this idea to the world will be found in ordinary, natural conversation between those who have seen the results of the act for themselves and the people they spend time with throughout the course of their ordinary lives: at work, at home, shopping, commuting, watching TV, doing the dishes, and so forth. That kind of communication requires something much more interesting and skillful than mere evangelistic fervor; it requires that we learn quietly to attend to the conversations we find ourselves in, so that the matter of the fear and the looking can arise unforced and naturally in the course of the conversation.

This person-to-person communication is by far the most effective of all means for bringing new ideas to the attention of large communities quickly.

2. A media campaign

The second part of our plan is to make use of the combined power of the public media--radio, tv, billboards, the internet, movies, etc.--to touch the eyes, ears and minds of a very large number of people for a moment just long enough to describe the act clearly, so that they can attend to the suggestion and try it. This very fast injection of the idea into the consciousness of the human community should on its own create a huge leap in the recognition and awareness of the looking in world, and that wide awareness should also bring about a widespread willingness and desire to learn more about it.

We believe that the combined effort of the grassroots campaign and the public media campaign will quickly trigger an exponential expansion of awareness of the looking throughout the entire human community. We already have the technical resources and a sound base of operations in place to maintain the grassroots component of our project. And we are confident that, as the grassroots campaign begins to gain traction in the world, the money and expertise needed to carry out the public media component will quickly become available.

Money matters

The only real problem now is that we don't have enough money coming in to keep the grassroots component going. Truth is, we don't even have enough money to keep what we are doing now alive. Right now, for example, we face a $5,000 shortfall this month.

And to tell you the truth, this is not unusual for us. This is pretty much the way it has been with us for thirteen years. But through it all, our work has managed to survive and grow, even in the face of almost certain failure. From the start, the survival of this work has been due entirely to the generosity of you, and people like you, who have seen the promise of what we have been trying to do and have kept it alive by donating money.

Now, once again, without your immediate help to cover the current shortfall, the community forums, the video blogs, the podcast, the ebooks, the transcriptions, the translations, and everything else we offer (always free of charge) is in danger of going dark very soon.

We doubt that will happen, because we know that enough of you will once again gladly and generously give what's needed to solve the immediate problem and keep this work alive. You always have, and because of you, this work will survive.

But this time we want more than mere survival.

Without long term, reliable funding to stabilize and secure the foundation of the grassroots campaign over the next three to five years, we will probably not even reach the point of developing a media campaign.

The funding we need to support the grassroots component of the project amounts to about $8,000 a month, which happens to be exactly what it would cost to keep our current level of activity alive and financially secure. This is because, as we mentioned earlier, we already have built the infra-structure, technical structure, and web presence we need to support the level of grassroots organization and communication that will be needed for the success of the project of bringing the looking to the world.

As things stand now, our income is nowhere near this optimum amount. In fact, we barely manage to squeak by, and then only by intensive day-to-day micromanagement of what money we do have, and the periodic plea for emergency help. We have no chance whatever to complete the project of bringing this good news to the world without financial stability.

Please donate now to keep alive the promise of this truly unprecedented discovery that heals the wound of fearfulness and alienation and redeems the experience of life for human beings everywhere.

Please donate.

Imagine a world...

Imagine for a moment what it might be like to live in a world in which all human beings are free of the cloud of existential fear altogether. A world in which selfishness in human affairs has pretty much vanished; a world free of hatred, greed, and pathological aggression; a world in which all humans have come to know the experience of their natural, existential connectedness; a world in which all have come to notice and attend to the power of human community infused with the light of human intelligence.

Imagine a world where the power of human intelligence, now wasted on matters pertaining mostly to egotistical issues of self-defense and the struggle to dominate, has automatically returned to its natural interest, which is the quest for greater understanding and skill in the adventure that is the natural experience of human life.

We believe that world is now within our reach. Not by faith or surrender, nor any form of understanding, transcendence, transformation or escape from human life; not by miraculous events in consciousness brought about by magical incantations or group meditations, nor by any other thing that directs attention away from actual human life.

We believe that this is the world we will have, if we can get this one simple, harmless act of looking to be heard by enough people in a short enough period of time, so that the news of its power reaches the ears of all human beings.

Now, we know that all this might sound, well, to put it politely, a little too good to be true. It often seems that way to us, too.

But the reports of success keep coming in--in emails, forum postings, notes sent through our AnonTalk app, postcards and letters in the mail, conversations in meetings online, in person, and on the phone, comments made in the request forms for the free downloads on our website, messages left on the foundation phone, and chance meetings with people that we run into at the grocery store here in Ojai--a slow, steady rain of confirmation of the power of the simple act of looking to change everything.

We have the organizational base. We have the technology, we have the structure, we have people freshly freed from the fear, and willing to help get the word out about what we believe to be the actual cure for all human misery. What we don't have is enough money. And when we look around at the millions of dollars routinely being raised for projects and good causes everywhere, the amount of money we need seems trivial in comparison.

If you feel drawn to the promise and the possibility of what we are speaking of here; if you have noticed the effects of the loss of the fear of life begin to appear in your own life; if you have an interest in helping us in any way, please do. Help us test the power of this simple act to bring about the fulfillment of human life by bringing news of it to all of humanity.

Please don't hesitate even for a moment to chip in whatever you can. And please join the conversation in the Community Center forums. That's where the effort to understand the power of this act and translate the redemption of our lives into useful, self-reliant work in the world is already taking place.

Thank you for your time and attention. We hope all this talk of money hasn't been disturbing to you. We don't know how to talk about money very well, but we are so filled with hope of what is possible, that we must try to do all that we can to make it happen.

John and Carla

Please donate.

 

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