Incorporation

Incorporation. What’s in this word? A lot more than you may realize. Today, I’ll take you through my own journey. It may just broaden your perspective.

The Pamalogy Society is on the verge of incorporation. It is time. As its founder, it is my job to communicate all that the Pamalogy Society is, and what it is not, why we’re doing what we’re doing, what the goals are, and how we’re going to exceed our own expectations in achieving them.

People ask me what Pamalogy is all the time. Well, if you got this far, you’re probably aware that it’s short for “Poly Astronomically Maximized Awesomeology.”

No, it has nothing to do with palm reading or astrology. There’s no “l” in Pamalogy and I said “astronomically”, not “astrologically.” Put simply, pamalogy is the philosophy of awesomeness. And awesomeness is something everyone should be interested in. It’s awesomeology. It’s worth thinking about. And it’s worth subscribing to.

So what is the difference between Pamalogy and the Pamalogy Society? The difference is that often under-appreciated word, incorporation.

Pamalogy is a comprehensive philosophical system. The Pamalogy Society is a non-profit corporation, or will be as soon as we seal the deal on incorporation in the coming days. It is dedicated to seeing the values of Pamalogy maximized in practice with the combined power of many people. Non-profit corporations, public charities, are useful in many ways for achieving great things. The goal is to see fewer words and more action. More doing. Less talking. You don’t need to know the chemical contents of air to breath it. You don’t need to know how an engine works to drive a car.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Pamalogy as a philosophical system. It is what I believe. It is something intrinsic to my religion.

For those new to Pamalogy, I should touch on that a moment. Like most people, I grew up with some amount of religion around me. My father was Catholic and my mother was a Presbyterian. They argued openly about their faith in front of the children, so I got a strong dose of what divided Reformers and Evangelicals from Catholics when I was young. Perhaps, it was the fact that my parents disagreed that had me realizing it was normal to have choices to make about religion. My parents’ ongoing open debate had me asking some deep questions many people never ask.

To be fair, I often asked if either of them was right … or anyone at all. I felt obligated to explore Eastern religious traditions, and to be honest, there is still much for me to learn from every tradition. Gradually, I discovered what made the most sense to me personally, and in the midst of it all, the things I learned that I could be certain of – various points of logical necessity, turned into the philosophical system that I call Pamalogy. Pamalogy became a lens that I looked at religious traditions with. It helped me examine my preferences. It helped me discern things others hadn’t seemed to notice. And with the light of Pamalogy, I sorted through my questions and doubts, putting some matters into the category of knowledge and certainty, and others into the category of faith.

Many years of prayerful thought went into this. I thought about what I came to call Pamalogy throughout my lifetime and the name “Pamalogy” itself started cropping up for me around 2017 or so – as a way to describe the key points of what I had discovered. What I discovered and became quite confident about was that the purpose of life is awesomeness, and the maximization of awesomeness requires many Universes, not just one. For awesomeness to be maximized it has to be poly astronomical. It’s a sort of a mathematical thing that I’ll cover another time. All I’ll say about it here is that Pamalogy gave me great comfort when my sister died in 2017 and again even more so when my brother died in 2018, just as it had as I reflected in earlier years on the death of my parents, my oldest brother and many others.

There was also something practical in giving the unique parts of my thought a name. I was able to establish myself as an authority on the subject. I am an authority on the subject of Pamalogy – the authority. If anyone has any questions about it, they’ve come to the right place – me.

That should be enough background on Pamalogy for now. You’ll discover plenty about it if you read through the articles and video blogs at Pamalogy.com. As we add content, you’ll also learn about what we’re doing. Believing and doing are, of course, two very different aspects of life. Today, I want to focus on what we’re doing. I want you to know what our intentions are by incorporating and seeking a 501(c)3 status as a public charity.

To do this, I want to ask you a question. When you consider your own life, what is the most good that you could personally do in this world before you die? Have you considered this question much?

When I write blogs or podcasts, I consider my audience. You are exceptional people. If you read my blogs, you are taking time out of your day to read up on a very unusual subject, taking interest in someone’s ideas that you find resonate with your own. Whether or not people like you choose to help the Pamalogy Society specifically, you are people who ask this sort of question. You wouldn’t spend time reading my blogs if you didn’t care. At some point, something I said or wrote caught your attention.

Podcast listeners, in particular, are efficient people. They multi-task. If you are going to drive in the car or exercise, you will feed your mind with something positive while you do it. You’ll enhance your time with the energy of a musical vibe, or with the visionary thinking of great thinkers throughout the world. People like you are continually inspiring themselves to be all they can be. That is why, whether you follow my blogs or my podcasts, I can guess that you are not an average person. You are the kind of person that cares about this question: “what is the most good I can do on this earth before I die?”

Now, if I randomly talk to people about philosophy and ask this question, they very often will question what a term like the word, “good” means. Does this happen to you? To be honest, I find the question a little annoying. There are things that are obviously good or bad and I shouldn’t have to debate the matter. As true as it may be that I’ve developed a philosophical system, I actually find most philosophers to be very annoying because they will be the first to deny the existence of good and evil. Either they will dismiss it as relative or cultural, or they’ll be asking me for proof that there is an absolute truth. So, what they’re really saying is that it would be perfectly fine if I hack into their bank account and take all their money, because there is no such thing as good or evil. Right?

OK. Maybe not. Maybe they’ll draw the line on harming others. It’s a matter of being civil and living and making society work for everyone. But what do you suppose the words “Work for everyone” mean? Do they mean, “be better”? I detect a value there – some judgement we can all agree on, that there are some things that are more desirable than others – world peace, for instance. If a value like world peace is just a human construct, then why seek it? So, in short, no. I won’t accept that there is no such thing as right and wrong, good or evil, better or worse, and so on.

I know it is true. They know it is true. What they are demonstrating is what philosophers sometimes call “sophistry.” It’s beginning philosophy.

Now, the subject of what constitutes right and wrong goes beyond what I want to talk about today, but we all know it as ethics and morality. And when I ask the question, “how could you do the most good before you die?” I’m asking an ethical question. But it is more than ethics. It is aesthetics.

Ethics asks what is right and wrong. Aesthetics asks what is the most beautiful. I’m sure you know that neither ethics nor aesthetics are easy subjects. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And maybe, parallel to this, right and wrong, good and evil, better and worse, are also in the eye of the beholder. Unquestionably, we all have our own ideas about both, yet we seldom doubt the existence of either one. We don’t say there is no such thing as beauty just because we don’t agree on what is the most beautiful.

So … in asking the question, “what is the most good you can do in this world before you die?” I’m asking a personal question. I’m asking you to answer it for yourself. It isn’t about some set of rules that would apply to each person. It is your question. I’m guessing that you have some idea of what the answer to this question is for you because you are a podcast listener or because you read my blogs. You are an exceptional person. There are a lot of people who have never asked.

For me, I decided to write down all of the things I thought would do the most good in this world before I died. I looked around me and saw things that weren’t working – things that I might be able to fix if I wrote down my ideas and then asked for help implementing them. I was very concise.

But writing the ideas down wasn’t enough. I wasn’t going to let the ideas get buried in some pile of papers somewhere. I was going to take measures to get these world-improving ideas into a place where they would most likely be acted upon. Part of this was up to me, so I put my list of things to do to improve the world before I die in the most conspicuous place I could think of. I posted them publicly on my web site at JamesCarvin.com, right on the front page of my web site.

This was the list of the things I was going to attempt to do before I died. Each one of them fixed a problem that I saw in this world. If you haven’t done this, I highly recommend it. Don’t just write down your goals. Stick your neck out publicly and publish them for everyone to see. So that’s what I did.

The next step, is incorporation. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. So, today, I want to share my journey of incorporation with you. It isn’t just the incorporation of the Pamalogy Society – it is a summary of that life-long goal of seeking to incorporate lots of ideas, and how that all turned into what is becoming the Pamalogy Society now.

Incorporation means people working together as one. As a founder of a concept, it means releasing that concept to others to see through into reality.  Great ideas are seldom things people can do alone. In my life, if I’ve failed, it has been a failure to surround myself with people who shared my vision and were able to help.

Now, sharing a vision is no easy task. The more elaborate a vision is, the harder it is to convey. If I see in great detail, I still have to somehow simplify what I see so that other people can digest what I have to share. Digestion begins with nibbling. My prospective vision-sharing companions have to nibble on my concepts one tiny bite at a time. I have to be very careful not to say too much. The sun has many rays. I’ll do well if I manage to share one ray of light at a time.

Have you ever seen something with great clarity and depth? Then as soon as you go to share your idea with someone, they have their own idea about what it could be. Did they lose interest in what you saw before you finished sharing it all? Did they veer off onto their own track? Did they interrupt?

You adjusted. Right? People actually have a lot to contribute. I love hearing their ideas. I’ll consider them. I’ll see how they fit. Gradually … eventually … I’ll also want to share my own thoughts. Not every type of thought fits nicely into a sound bite for popular consumption.  Those who follow my blogs and podcasts will eventually see the big picture that I see – the thing I call “maximized awesomeness.”

And then there is you. I’d like to hear from you too. I love knowing how other people see the world and its potential. Incorporation means working together towards a corporate goal. It refers to a body of people – a corpus. When we incorporate, we come together as one.

This works in several ways. Vertically, it gives me the opportunity to share the entirety of my vision from start to finish. Horizontally, it gives you the chance to join in to add your own perspectives to any part of that vision. Others will want to add their own input. Together we can be a very powerful force – one with many eyes, many minds working as one, may hearts, beating together, changing the world, maximizing awesomeness.

Each of us also has a unique journey. I look forward to hearing your stories. Mine is a story about an entrepreneur “wannabe.” I recently went through my old tax files as far back as I’d kept them and dug up almost thirty business cards, each representing an enterprise I tried to get off the ground. I reflected back on my life and thought about how different the world would be today if I had succeeded in even one of these ventures. As it stands, none of the businesses I wanted to start had sufficient capital to get started. The old adage, “it takes money to make money,” tends to be true. I’m sure building an empire from scratch can be done. We always hear rags to riches stories, but try as I did, that never worked for me.

A very typical problem I encountered was a certain three-way interplay between investors, developers and the building of prototypes. The developers won’t build prototypes without cash. The investors won’t provide cash without teams that can build products, and at a bare minimum, they want to see working prototypes. There are two main work-arounds for this sort of circular problem. First, you could try to develop a prototype yourself, if you could. Personally, that’s a specialty that would require more time than I ever had to devote. There’s always a learning curve and I always had bills to pay. It might be something you could do. Who knows? Just not me.

Second, you might talk some developer friends into working together on a shared equity basis. I really like this idea and I’ve tried it a number of times. Unfortunately, it has yet to work for me personally. But hey, never give up. Right?

Let me take a step back and emphasize the impact new businesses can have in the world and bring all this back to the question I asked: “how can you, or how can I, do the most good in this world before I die?”

There are lots of different types of businesses. They don’t all do anyone any good. A lot of people assume that the purpose of business is to make money. For some people, it is, maybe most. For me, I have always asked myself what my purpose in life was. It is to maximize awesomeness. If I could create the type of business that would have a positive impact in the world, then I could leverage the power of incorporation to make huge changes.

Some people own mundane businesses. It might seem the world could do without what they do and be no worse off. But even managing a net profit from a business with little world impact, or from a job and through savings, for that matter, can be used to improve the world. A little bit of money can go a long way. For me, personally, I’d like to see a direct positive impact in what I do.

When I was in college, in the 1970s, I was a music composition major. I looked at the creative arts as ways to add beauty to the world. I’d be willing to earn very little if I was contributing to the world’s beauty.

Then when I graduated, life sort of took me by surprise. There wasn’t any market for my music. I took a job at a bank. N0w while there was certainly some value in helping people save their money and earn a few dollars in interest, I have to confess that I was deeply frustrated by the fact that nothing I was doing was producing anything that would have a direct impact on anyone. I had a deep inner-need to create something people could experience directly. I was just wired that way.

Well, I’m not going to give you my life’s story right now. I just want to point out that many entrepreneurs, including myself, are passionate about what they see, not because of money, but because of impact. It all comes down to the way they answer the question: “how can I do the most good in this world before I die?” Or, I might like to put this question another way, “how can I maximize my awesomeness?” A profitable business may be an essential ingredient in making awesomeness happen, but it isn’t the end game. Positive impact is – an impact that won’t exist without profit.

Now some people might suppose that a non-profit corporation doesn’t require profit because of the name, but that is not true. The Pamalogy Society will be a non-profit corporation when it incorporates, but what “non-profit” status means is simply that there are no shareholders. In other words, if we take in $3 million and spend only $2 million, in a given year, nobody gets to keep the extra million bucks. That money goes into the kitty for the next year to be spent on the programs the Pamalogy Society supports according to its mission.

There are all sorts of charitable organizations that have been incorporated and each has their unique mission. The ones we are most familiar with directly impact the homeless, the hungry or the sick. They help prisoners get back on their feet. They provide services for substance abusers and mental health. They fund medical research or education. They support local houses of worship and and political causes too. They ask for your financial support in thousands of ways. You hear them make their appeal. Something strikes your heart and you reach into your wallet. Few people really stop to think about what would happen if entrepreneurs were funded by those same charity dollars, especially those with a mind to consider how they might have the greatest impact in the world possible. Wouldn’t the monies for these charities all multiply?

I think it would be easy to show that whenever the economy is strong, philanthropy increases, not just proportionately, but exponentially. And vice versa, when the economy is weak, philanthropy drops like a hot potato. How well the economy is doing will depend on which politician you ask, but you could also use the appeals you get from your favorite charity in your inbox every day as  a measure of the economy’s strength. When the economy is down – they hurt. And they’ll let you know it.

So, let me sum up. I’ve pointed to the pain point in getting businesses started. You can’t build a prototype without developers. You can’t hire developers without cash. You can’t raise cash without a prototype. Can’t, can’t can’t. And while some people have managed to pass through this hurdle, have you ever stopped to think about  how many high impact businesses never came to exist because a silent majority of entrepreneur wannabes like me were never able to attract the talent they needed to realize their ideas?

It’s hard to put a number on this, but from my perspective, I’d be willing to guess it’s something near 99 out of 100. In other words, for every one business that went from concept to reality, there were a hundred that went from concept to the recycle bin. Imagine how much philanthropy there would be if the economy was literally 100 times stronger!

It means financing the arts. It means financing medical research. It means ending homelessness, hunger and disease. This is why in asking myself how I could do the most good in this world before I die, I wind up with a list of business ideas. In conceiving of what the Pamalogy Society could do as a corporation, the answer was as clear as day to me. It could finance pr0grams like those listed at JamesCarvin.com and provide the talent needed to turn these concepts into reality. In future Pamalogy Society blogs and podcasts, I will describe each of these programs in detail and we’ll talk about ways we can work together to maximize our impact.

Ciao!

 

 

This post is a transcript of the Pamalogy Society Podcast, Episode 1 – Incorporation. We are currently setting up a periodic Podcast that will appear on popular Podcast platforms. A sneak preview of our Podcast is available through Google Docs at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iOwjMB45ko827Tmw_5VlxgwTqUsR8lvZ/view

 

 

 

 

 

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