by Flemming Funch, 10 Jan 95.

One model I have often found useful in relating to life is that of "domains", as in chunks of the world of varying size and scope. If we start with one individual as the center of a circle, we can then make wider and wider concentric circles of bigger and bigger scope. Or, starting from the other end, we can start with Everything-there-is and gradually narrow in our focus until we get down to one single individual.

There could be many ways of dividing up such a scheme, and this is just one. The main point is that each bigger domain contains the domains that go before it and covers a bigger portion of life, the universe and everything. Each domain is a sphere of influence or a field of operation.

This model I've used in personal counseling to help people clarify their own role in the universe. However, it could be used for many other purposes.

Personal domain - One individual person and everything that pertains to maintaining an individual existence. This includes one's body, one's name, one's belongings, one's personal interests and preferences.

Relationship domain - The interactions between two or more individuals close to each other. That includes friendships, marriages, family, but also temporary connections and interchanges between individuals.

Group domain - Several people associating to form group activities. That can be a company or club or cause, or any other association, permanent or temporary. A group tends to take on a life of its own, beyond the dynamics of the participating individuals.

Society domain - Larger groups of people co-exist in adjacent space to form societies. A society can consist of many diverse groups and interests. Together they more or less loosely form a national identity. A country is a society domain.

Global domain - A whole planetary system is a global domain. That includes societies and whatever else exists on a planetary sphere. This includes concern for ecology and whatever else is needed to manage co-existence of diverse groups and species and resources within a closed system. Ours is planet Earth.

Stellar domain - Planets are part of solar systems. Encompassing a solar system involves the interaction between different planets, travel beyond one's planetary sphere, and concern for the life cycle of one's star. We are in the solar system of the Sun.

Galactic domain - Many star systems together form galaxies, which again have their own long-term creative and destructive cycles. Stars are born or die. Civilizations might exist on a galactic scope and might expand or decay. We are in the outskirts of a galaxy known as The Milky Way.

Universal domain - All of what exists in the same space-time continuum forms a universe. Even a universe has cycles, of expanding and contracting. Everything in it is in one way or another inter-related.

Dimensional domain - Alternate universes might exist in different dimensions, existing at different vibratory frequencies, different times, or otherwise out of phase with each other. One might possibly travel between them, or become aware of one's multi-dimensional existence amongst them. Together all these dimensions form what we could call the Omniverse.

Totality domain - The totality of all that exists, together with the creative potential for bringing anything whatsoever into existence, that is the most wide-spanning domain. We can call it All-that-is. Where any other domain is limited or fragmented to some degree, Totality is by its nature whole and complete.

Metaphysics and what you might believe is the Meaning of Everything matters less here than simply widening or narrowing the focus.

To take the really BIG view, we can start seeing this from the biggest domain first. Which is essentially more proper, but more foreign to the human perspective. We naturally start with the wholeness of Everything. Then we can divide it into different dimensions to keep things apart. Then we can focus on a particular universe of stuff. And within that on a certain family of material we can call a galaxy. And within that we focus on the functioning of a certain stellar system. Well, to make it narrower, just one planetary unit. Under that we can divide things into different societies, consisting of different groups. Within each group we split it into different relations. And finally we can focus on one individual unit all by itself, one person. We could split it further, looking at what this individual consists of, but that is small enough for this purpose.

If you are so inclined, you can call the all-that-is domain God. However, that is not necessary or required.

This can simply be taken as a logical, mathematical way of dividing things up. As applied to any particular system, we can look at the whole system, or we can break it down into smaller and smaller sub-systems.

Domains can be examined separately or their relations with other domains can be examined. A single individual person has his own issues and problems and aspirations in life. He forms a system all by himself, with its own cycles and mechanics and laws, a system distinctly different from the systems of other domains.

An inter-personal relationship forms a system. There are certain principles and mechanics at work that are different from the workings of an individual. If one doesn't notice that, that domain might frequently end up in a crisis. There are certain principles and issues that might apply to all inter-personal relationships. There will also be different conditions and different agreements from one relation to the next.

Any group forms a system in itself. Its principles and cycles often operate beyond the activities of individuals and inter-personal relations, and might well continue even with totally different people as participants. There are models and techniques that facilitate working with groups in general, and there are also unique cultures in different groups that must be accommodated.

Societies are systems. Planets are whole systems, even though they contain many sub-systems. There will be certain principles that are generally useful for managing planets, but each planet will also be different.

Each domain can be regarded separately, but is nevertheless always connected to and dependent on other domains. If that is ignored, disharmonious and dysfunctional relations might develop between or within domains.

An individual that is part of a group might not do well or not be popular if he exclusively sees and deals with his own personal domain. To operate well in a group, one must be able to perceive and deal with the group domain, and preferably be able to somewhat think AS a group.

All domains in alignment is the ideal situation. The idea is to work towards synergy between all domains of life. It is off balance to sacrifice one's personal domain for the sake of the inter-personal domain (e.g. in some marriages) or group domain (giving one's life to a company) or society-domain (dying for one's country in war). Rather, if what one does as an individual is in harmony with one's relationships, with the groups one is in, with society, with global needs, and so forth, all the way up to the totality of everything, then we are talking about a life of synergy.

The key thing to notice here is that the domains are inside one another. It is not one OR the other. They are invariably all inter-connected and operating at the same time. Bringing them into alignment and helping them ALL to be strong and healthy at the same time, that probably makes for a more happy and effective life.

For practical purposes, most people are likely to be concerned primarily with the first few domains, and the bigger one's might be very unreal. However, concerning oneself with all the domains, and learning to shift one's focus between them is a quite valuable personal development tool.

It really puts a problem in perspective when one examines it from the viewpoint of the next higher domain.

The description of these domains is a map that can be helpful in aligning different parts of one's existence with each other. They aren't really separate, that is just a helpful model to be able to focus on different parts of life. They are a tool for assisting the ability to shift focus, to chunk life into different sizes of chunks.