The Scream

I dearly love them, my world change friends. Brilliant, active, moved by concern for planet, society, living beings suffering everywhere – many singing their final farewell songs as they go extinct. We all know this for quite some time now. We know it in our marrow, our soul wailing. We’re earthlings on our way to oblivion, and to waste go all the flowers of civilization on this planet. We all know this, and some of us act in one way or another, and some cry their heart out, and some prepare for civilization’s collapse.

We’re in the loop, getting tons of messages via email, facebook, twitter, gplus, and the media on a daily basis diagnosing the disaster, offering ways to deal with it; some are bleak, others urgent calls, again others slightly more positive. And we could read all day and night about it and still the sounds of alarm and requiems of loss would not end. We could work all day and all of the night and never even come close to responding to the tiniest fractions of the calls to action…

There are a thousand great plans that promise to help. There are a million fantastic, creative voices. Leaders, activists, spiritual and post-metaphysical, atheists and the Pope, women and men all over the planet. We’re all shouting and pointing in a thousand different directions. “Let’s go!” we say, “We need to be on our way! It’s urgent.” And it’s true, isn’t it?! So, “Let’s unite!” — And hundreds of banners are raised in the field and shouts go out to “Rally here! Unite! We’re in this together!”

But what is this that we’re together in?

Scream of NatureStudy more, agree, disagree, doubt the data, trust the largest majority a science has ever mustered, hear the Scream of Nature as Edvard Munch heard it in the beginning of the 1890ies, 125 years ago. All hell has broken loose, between the climate change deniers and accepters, between the activists and not-so-activists, everyone talking and shouting and screaming and crying and wailing, drowning out nature’s scream, fading out the panic rising in the soul with plans and projects and all the well meaning attempts to stop the race towards an unknown abyss. Authentic chaos feeding back to itself ever faster devastating loops just as the climate seems to do.

I know, I know, this is what I need to face – way too long have I avoided seeing the obvious, hearing the sound of this profound chaos, mashing up truths, half-truths, lies and propaganda into a carnage of arguments and feelings. Too long have I thought that if we all would just use this tool or that, align ourselves along these lines or those, all would be well. Too long have I hope for a technological miracle, CO2 and plastic eating bacteria, an Artificial Intelligence whose benign intelligence would solve all this human madness for us, expecting the Singularity when machine’s intelligence surpasses that of humans would fix it all. So now I face it, let’s face it, that even though we do our very, very best that hasn’t stopped the increasing speed of civilisation’s mad dash but rather fueled it. No, it is chaos growing more authentic by the minute, confusion squared, desperation gripping a million throats, constricting my throat, your throat, choking us. Tears well up. We cry oceans.

paul_damato_03There’s nothing I can do, nothing we can do that doesn’t first and foremost feed the chaos, energizing the scream. Hope dies last, they say, but it does die. It dies now. It is perishing right here. Finally I descend into this chaotic hell, where everybody does their best and nothing is accomplished but swelling this madness. It all comes crashing in now that I’ve opened the gates. I washes over me. I break into a million pieces, we break into a trillion pieces, those of us that open their eyes and see, those of us that open their ears and listen — I hear us being broken. We mourn for ourselves. And then the mourning expands to those we don’t care about, those we dislike, the whole mad circus called humanity, and we mourn for our animal friends, the living beings we routinely destroy, all living creatures and what will now never even come alive. We are broken. We break, and mourn… our heart becoming a requiem for all possibilities, creativities, brilliances, for what each and everyone of us could think of and do. I accept.

And then the mourning fades. The sorrow goes and with it the social self, the distortion that has grown on us the last 10.000 years. The distortion we call civilization, seeking power, seeking approval, growing emotional, growing intellectual, acting for our individual good, acting for the good of all; it all fades into the historical background. We’re through.

[To be continued]

Play and Participation

Picture by Paul D'Amato
Picture by Paul D’Amato

When you’re regarded as tourist by locals, someone who provides them with an income, you’ve certainly become an object[i]. It establishes the rules of conduct. You have to turn a person into an object before you can use them as an instrument that you can play to your own profit, and that person’s loss. That gives us a measure for this behavior. Inasmuch as you can make an object of anyone or even anything, and thereby severe the connection with it/him/her by separating yourself from it as a subject, in that measure you can use others and turn them into your instrument.

As it is with horses: if you turn your horse into an object, an animal-object you know that you need to force it to do your will, and you’ll need a bit and maybe spurs. If, on the other hand, you simply participate in the man-horse relationship where both you are equal, be it with different capacities, than you can play – in peace and clarity.

Participatory reality is situated far, far away from the subject/object world. It is a reality full of play following a basic pattern mentioned earlier: receive > transform > give. And every being in this reality is involved and engaged, and the closer they are to humanimals the more ways to play they find. Many interspecies’ games on YouTube recently: Dogs and birds, cats and mice, dogs and cats playing with each other having fun, clearly.

Play requires participation. To stand aloof, to remark and comment on the game from the outside, on players and their moves as a spectator may be tolerated or celebrated by the players of competitive games played in front of crowds of paying guests, but really it is cowardly behavior. It turns games and players into objects and makes it very easy to celebrate using, abusing them with comments that know it all better, and suggestions whose only purpose is to show off your knowledge. But in the games of life all of this is without any merit. These games have no outside; no one can escape participation. Those that refuse to play are nevertheless fulfilling their roles as irritators or obstructers. Even those that do not appear to make a move serve life’s games, as orientation mark in a continual flow.

The real joyful moves are made by those participators that play with real abandon; those that dare to risk themselves and/or their safety and lose themselves in the game. These players are a surprise and will be in wonder, maybe by something really new, maybe by inspiration, maybe by a rattling insight, or maybe they fall in love, find best friends or simply celebrate the unknown.

There is an art to relaxing into the games of life, to trust the game and your own capacity to stay afloat if needed. There is a deep joy to loosening up the self-position without awareness subsiding, the self transforming from witness to withness. What first positioned itself outside and above all matter, as witness to it all, now becomes a participator, someone with a lot of capacity for withness…



[i] And as a man you may finally understand what it feels like to be a pretty woman anywhere on the planet

The Movement of Participation

woman-holding-mirror-on-grass-reflection by LAURA WILLIAMS
Picture by LAURA WILLIAMS

Reality is participatory in nature… just look at breathing: you take a breath – receive the air, you transform the air in your body, and you give back what you have transformed. Receive > transform > give, that seems to be the general dynamics of a humanimal’s participation in reality.

The same goes for our mind: Take in a concept, transform it into an understanding, and give that back in any form you like. And with every participatory transformation cycle our reality grows more diverse: out of one concept a never ending number of other, and very different concepts can and do arise. Our nature is participatory: no wonder that many of us feel such elation when we have authentic conversations in which we creatively play with our mutual concepts.

Participation is most intense when it is in the mode of transformation. This is why detachment via the cognitive self, the mind, by saying for instance, “I am not this body, not these feelings, not this mind” etc., feels so at odds with our nature. It is a process of singling yourself out until there is nothing left but the Self. And the Self is an emptiness, a void in which all in all plays. Yet, the Self is neither in it nor of it. For sure, this method will, if followed radically enough, land you in some non-duality that reveals the interdependence of all beings and becomings – or so I’m told – but there is a basic bias towards self and awareness that is almost imperialist; it claims “Tat Tvam Asi”, thou art that, meaning that the Self is supreme and that you are aware of that, and this very awareness enlightens you.

Maybe you think I’m picking on that path; if so then because while on that path it causes an amazing amount of suffering, even though I’m told that the result, finally, is utterly supreme. But maybe that’s a justification, and I’m so picky because this path has disappointed me in every way possible. It first dawned on me when it became clear that the “Witness”, the detached neutral observer of reality is a construction that puts a distance between witness-me and everything else, a distance that aggravates the dreadful consumerist, media-guided situation we find ourselves in. Exercising witness-consciousness turns us into a spectator of life making it harder and harder to just be the feeling, breathing, engaged and involved participator of reality that we always also are. It blinds us to what we always do, even in death.

Exercising ourselves in this or similar transcending ways will surely confuse us enough to actually think that we are an independent agent, an essentially disembodied awareness that is not of this endless and boundlessly deep world. And also, and paradoxically, whatever detaches us or moves us into avoidant and evasive spaces, what numbs us…  is still a way to participate in it all, only very confusedly and chaotically so.

We’re one in the beginning, and ever since we differentiate, diversify and become more and more unique. And the primordial unity is not broken; it just manifests as participation of everything/one with everyone/thing. Our differences are real, are authentic. Glossing it over in a civilized manner won’t help. Pretending that we’re one won’t help. Trying to make it go away won’t help. Trying to transcend it won’t help. Actually there is nothing that can be done about it: the chaos we live in is authentic, it’s real and it is the ground out of which we weave the story of life and civilizations. But maybe for the first time in history actually being able to radically accept this chaos, opens up the possibility for something new to emerge. May it help us through the next phase of our development.

The Painful Labor of Emergence

090622-gpeace-wI’ve been having fierce debates with neo-liberal conservatives recently, people that keep up the faith that the climate catastrophe is just ‘leftist propaganda’, that the recent and still going financial-turned-economic disaster is caused by big government, or by Marxists or similar. At the same time a report was published by the United Nations Environment Programme that climate researchers now predict the planet will warm by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century even if the world’s leaders fulfill their most ambitious climate pledges (here), which hardly anybody believes they will – unless We The People force them to; and are you willing to bet, say 25% of your year’s salary that We The People will force them? Ah, right, you probably won’t.

In the mean time some wonderfully willing and amazingly well-connected people embark on a journey to change all that; I think it’s a couple of Million world-wide. Good people. Wonderful people. We would all love to hug them. And then we go into the next super-market and buy…. ah well, we didn’t make much money last months so we cannot afford any fancy stuff, we need to buy the cheaper things; not produced sustainably or ecologically.
We would love to do the good thing, but what choice do we have given our income?

130659051_e78c6596a1On another note, but connected – bear with me -,  just a week ago I met an amazing person, a man who remembers being in the crowd around Jesus… got crucified himself. And the way he talks about this in conversations is so very low key, and at the same time with such certainty, that it has made me reconsider some of my base assumptions which doubt reincarnation to contemplating what it would mean if the soul is indeed eternal, coming back again and again to the planet – for whatever may be the reason for this; if indeed it has a reason.
My new friend is not an airy, fairy New Age person – he made his first million by the age of 24 – and he’s also not the slick marketer of any esoteric stuff either. He’s smart, has a very good working intuition, is also quite down to Earth and with an intelligent heart. Can’t just dismiss his stuff off hand. And he reminded me of some very interesting material I unearthed years ago where reincarnation would be the simplest, most plausible explanation (some BBC stuff published years before the archaeological proof of the memory someone had from a previous life; the content of that memory not being recorded anywhere before).

Maybe all this stuff strikes an emotional chord… Almost a year ago one simple question changed my whole relational life – and started me on a deep emotional experiment. In January this year my father died. Recently the other grandfather of my son died. Last weekend a former student from the time I used to be an enlightened teacher, died of cancer – a woman the age of my girlfriend; one of the students I loved for her rebelliousness, for really wanting to know.

What is going on in the world at large and in my own life’s context seems to be about life and death, and on the grand scale it concerns the whole of humankind – and from how I respond emotionally to the active ignorance of much of the elites I take it that I’ve started to take the inactivity and the downright denial – except maybe in some lip-service of no real consequence to ‘doing something about it’ – personal.

budhaIf I still were an enlightened teacher I could easily transcend all of this; “I am not the body, I am not my thoughts and concepts and beliefs; not this, not that; net-neti.” I would simply stay with “Now”. And in a way this still holds true. There is a private way out. It’s effective. Just ask, “Is this true? Can I really know it is true?”, and since an honest answer will always transport you to the transparent Here and Now, the Still Point at the Center of Everything, and since remaining there for a while will let you taste non-dual presence, this private way out still works. I can take it. And so can you. But for whatever reason this isn’t really satisfactory to me anymore – meaning, “I don’t wanna go there, really.” Maybe this whole enlightenment thing is a much too private paradise – utterly real when there, and always good for a shot of transcendent joys. But then, really, I think the dice have fallen and the choice is… “I’m here to incarnate – become and truly be flesh, be fallibly human, be pretty much like many others; probably like you in most respects.”

That is how I keep on arriving time and again on the scene of desperate humanity, of molested humanity, of experiencing-lots-of-atrocities humanity; a bit of an activist, maybe. My contribution are concepts and practices around “collaboration ecology”, teachable experiences around “embodied collective consciousness”, and practical and implementable insights into the “living field“. And over the last couple of years through the Web and its social communities I’ve been embedded in networks and ‘meshworks’ (which I’m very much co-creating at this moment in time with Gaiaspace; that’s a disclosure, I think). And increasingly the most divine question that a friend of mine heard from Gods mouth on Mount Shasta seems to be, “So what?

Humanity at the beginning of the 21st Century is coming to know and understand it’s suffering. Some of this state of affairs has been predicted by many, me included: The financial collapse (caused by, basically, unbridled egotism and greed), the climatological disaster (only we thought it wouldn’t come so fast), societal break-down (the neo-liberal and conservative break-down into myopic pubescence in the US is just one visible sign of that), and I could go on and on singing the apocalyptic blues.

complainThis is the demons we face, the shadows that humanity must incorporate instead of polluting the whole cosmic environment with it.

What have we done to the earth?
What have we done to our fair sister?

Ravaged and plundered
And ripped her
And bit her
Stuck her with knives
In the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences
And dragged her down

(Jim Morrison/The Doors, “When the Music’s over” [I exchanged ‘they’ with ‘we’])

Maybe I’m too much entrenched in German history, the apocalypse we as a people (even though father was in the Resistance) brought upon the people of Europe and the world in World War II. Maybe the tears I cried in the Spanish Synagogue in Prague over the atrocities the Germans committed in Theresienstadt were not mine to cry, and Rabbi Löw’s laughter I heard in my soul when I prayed for forgiveness for my people’s monstrosities at his grave seemed to tell me that much. Maybe also, lying on the ground of one of the major battlegrounds, not being able to stop sobbing for hours has shown me that mourning over our collective murder, pillage, rape, plundering, imprisoning and hurting each other and much of nature is needed.

21fa2We cannot fix this. We cannot undo the damage we’ve done to each other. The European people and nations have massacred the North- and South-American inhabitants, we have enslaved Millions of Africans – to just name some non-Germanic monstrosities that have shaped the world many of us profit from – this is the shadowy past, and its consequences are what we experience today – the sins of our fathers and all the generations that have come before. Are those that profit from a crime and do nothing to stop the criminal behavior not also guilty?
The egotistical, anti-social behavior of our elites that have led to the ecological and societal disaster we witness (and that we all are part of and support by much what we do day to day) has to be faced, and we have to do what is natural when seeing all of that – mourn, and see that what we need is a true metanoia, a change of heart, a change of our core… and mourn, for this true transformation is not something we can make happen. It’s out of our hands. We cannot fix it.

We cannot fix this as we are. We cannot fix this with the systems that have supported the disaster in the first place. We need to simply face our enormous shadow, a shadow that has built up in centuries of denial and turning a blind eye. Yes, maybe, it is overwhelming. Yes, I would also love to squirm out under the weight of it and point a finger at those that are much more guilty, the captains of industry, reckless bankers, compromising politicians, inhumane bureaucracies. And as I said in the very beginning of this blog, there are those that are extremely resistant to any kind of change that would profit any larger group than their clan or political tribe. But those of us who can face this, be assured, that is what we need to do.

We need to forgive before any kind of real healing can happen. And then, having faced how we’ve become as we are as humanity at this day and age, having forgiven ourselves by the powers of our very core-nature, Beauty happens – I know, it happens again and again when I face the shadow, when I’ve mourned the unfixable past, when I’ve felt the loss of so many good, beautiful and true people, when I’ve looked our “fair sister” in the face disfigured by humanity… and she smiles on me.

And then I “hear a very gentle sound” beyond what Jim Morrison could hear, beyond wanting the world, and wanting it Now!

pregnant with EarthThe very gentle sound I hear are the beginnings of a new symphony, an emerging culture that is being born in the midst of humanities mournful and painful labor. And since it is a global being, a world-soul emerging from the womb of our defeat, a humanity like it has never before existed in history, we cannot say anything about it. We can state our hope, we can say that we expect a society that will look much closer to a non-egoic paradise than the most enlightened societies that have ever existed on Earth before. But we can neither hasten this birth nor can we stop the labor.

Knowing this the dark age of ecological disaster, societal challenge and financial-economic debacle all of a sudden doesn’t need anybody fixing it. It needs open hearts and minds doing and being what they’re called to be and do. We need humans courageously facing life as it unfolds in the flesh, in the body, in our societies so that they can lend a hand, an eye, a foot where they see a real need. We need people waking up to their embeddedness in the webs life has been weaving in and around them. We need people to hear the calling to be alive, now, wherever we are, just exactly the way we are – and having faced, and whenever it appears facing again, our individual and collective shadows we open to the incarnating emergent humanity and what it brings.

Desire is a meeting place

matteo_tranchelliniDesire is a meeting place. And it’s a matter of timing, aligning so much that synchronicity of desiring is much more likely. Have to have your ‘eye’ on the feeling-field, and keep the connection.

This is an inner gesture, an immediate expression of what you have learnt before. Like walking.
Ever looked at how a child learns to walk. They trie again and again until they can. And everybody celebrates the achievement. This is how we learn that it’s a pleasure we can share our achievements with those we love. And it’s wonderful to be applauded when following deep inclinations – like the strong desire to walk; all the Big Ones walk, I’ll follow the overwhelming desire to trie until I can walk just like them.

We have no examples for a tuned-in life, a life where we’re tuning in continually to the songs and melodies our destiny comes up with. We have to be the ones, we and all those that come after us, that we have been waiting for. If there is no example, let’s be it. What do we need to bring to this laborator?

  • a heart that has come alive
  • a heart that dares to be naked
  • our brightest intelligence
  • soul to soul relationship(s)
  • deep respect for natural development(s); and if possible:
  • the alchemy of a relationship with someone, possibly a life-partner

That’s it, I believe. Being open to the refining processes inherent in life as labratory – and this very wording of it – gives me a degree of freedom that is closely connected with respecting my limits.

What is transmuted is the forces of feelings that are connected with sad, with desperate, with “negative” emotions. The strength of these forces probably remain. The force, for instance, captured in the complex feeling of jealousy doesn’t disappear but is most likely one of the driving energies behind accepting my destiny as it reveals itself to be; the power that allows me to “face it” – facing whatever needs to see my face.
From my point of view this is just the case. Certainly the circumstances now make this a very natural part of the process. In life we can never repeat our experiments to verify if another outcome would be possible – what we would have done if this, that or the other happened?. So given the present state of the laboratory it is much easier for me to “face it” than at other moments in recent weeks 🙂

Since, as Heraclit said more than 2000 years ago, pantha rei, “everything flows” and “you cannot dip into the same river twice”, we are learning the art of navigation in this flow, and what are supportive ecologies to this flow.
I have been speaking of giving an example, and by that I don’t mean to say teaching people this particular metaphor but by being an example, by being beautiful, joyous, understanding, and by loving, wise navigation. Trusting life and each other, authentically being alive, continually enlarging our comfort-zone until it maybe encompasses everyone and all, becoming quite naturally comfortable with life in this existence (willing at any moment to face it when it needs our face)… maybe that’s the ones we truly are, the ones we have been waiting for.jeanbaptiste_mondino

Enlightening the Passions – Day 26 (Presence of the Past)

The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination. — John Schaar

1964-7There is a healing quality to bitter tears. When we’re moved into the depths of our despair there is a space for the traumas of the past to surface. One of these has surfaced yesterday.

Like every child under a certain age experiences the parents break up; I felt when my parents did separate that it was all my fault. My parents behavior towards me didn’t convince me otherwise. You could say they left me to believe there was something utterly wrong with me. Parents have to go out of their way to make a child accept his or her innocence. Mine didn’t.

Doing a lot of Hellinger-type family constellations I learned that children will often want to prove that their parents were right. From my present perspective I see that I proved my parents to be right by recreating difficulties, or by enacting what I think I inherted from my father, who in turn inherted it from his father – and who knows how many more generations.
When situations became too emotional he either turned cynic, sarcastic, aggressive or he withdrew in an inpenetrable castle of arrogance. There is a lot to my dealings with highly emotional situations that I seem to have inherited.

Coming from another perspective one can say that my father, by leaving, was the “doer” in my parents divorce, and that out of misinterpreting the reasons for that divorce I started to manifest behaviour in line with the larger pattern of the masculine family line.
But whichever way I have come into following a destructive tendency at important junctions of my life not only I but others as well have reaped the consequences. I needed to go to deep despair to come to realize this. I am not guilty of my behavior, nevertheless the consequences are here, and I accept needing to respond with the expanded life I now live.

jurgen-mai-19581Accepting this freely and willingly is obviously the most “reasonable” thing to do. Having come to be the way I am now, through now almost 55 years of intense living and experiencing a character has formed. Denying and avoiding feelings, repeating the ancient stories from my family album doesn’t seem like what I’d want to be doing.

By the grace of the experiment so far, which is turning into a practise, �both an understanding and an expansion into what I call feeling-field have occured. This is far from stable and it needs continual care so I can establish a new type of relating. Being feelingly open and at the same time authentic. Part of that is being open to the consequencesof all of my behavior and manifestation, knowing that I’m not guilty but responsible.

This enables me in a more compassionate and maybe also powerful way to participate in life more fully; regaining trust based on deeper and more naked realities about myself and others. Participation, trust and surrender, as much as clarity, penetration and courage have been the qualities that have carried me through an eternity these last weeks – for as much as I have been destructive, a nuisance to myself and others, for as painful and horrible all of this has been, the qualities I mention above are probably those that played a role in getting me this far; the alchemical essences that started a transformation on a level I have no control over, whatsoever.

And having told so much about myself you might ask, “But what about those people around you? What about your partner?” I can only express my deepest gratitude for when it really, really mattered she and my friends have given me the support I needed to be able to come this far.
And I want to thank those who’ve commented showing their own heart and soul. This is the world I want to live in. To see and be seen on that level is wonderful, it nourishes the soul.

1954-ich-mit-meinen-eltern


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Testing

December 29th, 2007 12:00 – 22:00,

Marriage Udo & Astrid,

Berlin

 

Meditation & Irritation

A lovely movie illustrating what meditation can do to irritations…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l-YYqjhVi4

The Most Effective Way to Change the World

Wow… that’s really a headline, isn’t it?

And that is really what we’re going for here, isn’t it?

Well, one extremely effective way to not only change the world but your self as well is:
Changing the World one smile at a time.

If today we all make at least three strangers smile – maybe by a nice remark, maybe by smiling at them from our heart of hearts , maybe by offering them a helping hand – and commit ourselves to doing that every day… we will be spreading a lot of the “good stuff”.

Another way – and you can combine these methods – to effectively change yourself and the world is:
Doing what you want to do with all your heart.

What do you really want to do now? I ask myself this question in many situations…
Entering a restaurant I ask, “Were do I really feel like sitting?” and then I go there.
Talking with someone I take a moment asking myself, “What would I really like to talk about?” and then I do that or steer the conversation in that direction.
Standing in a grocery store I ask, “What would I really like to cook tonight?” and then I buy that. (Hey girls, you can do that with shoes too 🙂 )

You might say, “But often – in my work for instance – I have to do all kinds of things I don’t want to do.” Well, I’m not going to advise you to find the work you really want to do – you might not be ready to live this so radically, yet; we all go step by step, don’t we? So I’ll give you the advice I have been following for some time before I could muster the strength to actually live this way all day long; it come from Neil Young (I think):
If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.

Simple, effective, and causing lasting changes in your body-mind and the environment around you. Bringing your heartfelt presence to this moment and giving yourself truly, madly, deeply to what your doing (or not-doing for the Taoists among us) will not only be a blessing and change you on the cellular, psychological and spiritual level it is also already reflecting the world we want to live in, doesn’t it?

And one last ‘thing’ you can do for yourself and with friends as well – I have been doing this with the participant of my recent 7 day seminar “The Art of Being Happy”.
Take time to reflect on what you are really good at (and allow yourself to consider everything you’re good at).

What would happen if you told your friends today, “I really love it how you can …” or, “I think you’re a real master of …” or some such thing?
What if once in a while you got a little circle together with the expressed purpose of telling each other what you are good at, and help each other see even more things that you’re good at? You might even want to tell us here in the comments…. 🙂

So… what is your Most Effective Way to Change the World & Yourself?

Defuse me

If I were a bomb
ready to explode,
if I have become
dangerous to your life,
then you must take care of me.
You think you can get away from me,
but how?
I am here, right in your midst.
(You cannot remove me from your life.)
And I may explode
at any time.
I need your care.
I need your time.
I need you to defuse me.
You are responsible for me,
because you have made the vow (and I heard it)
to love and to care.

I know that to take care of me
you need much patience,
much coolness.
I realize that in you there is also a bomb to be defused.
So why don’t we help each other?
I need you to listen to me.
No one has listened to me.

No one understands my suffering,
including the ones who say they love me.
The pain inside me
is suffocating me.
It is the TNT
that makes up the bomb.
There is no one else
who will listen to me.
That is why I need you.
But you seem to be getting away from me.
You want to run for safety,
the kind of safety
that does not exist.

I have not created my own bomb.
It is you.
It is society.
It is family.
It is school.
It is tradition.
So please don’t blame it on me.
Come and help;
if not, I will explode.
This is not a threat.
It is only a plea for your help.
I will also be of help
when it is your turn.

– Thich Nath Hahn

We are the next Buddha

Helen wrote in her blog “Why the next Buddha will be a collective.” I hope to show with this article where I am coming from in this regard so that in the time to come we can have beautiful dialogues, trialogues or any other -logues to help this meme propagate.

I guess, for me it all started in earnest when in the summer of 2005 one of my trainees asked, “What about we?” I guess, he asked that because I was using my own path and experience as a template for the spiritual journey, as most spiritual teachers do. Because that’s what I felt myself to be at that time, a spiritual teacher. And, being steeped in a guru culture, my role was centered around having a ‘working relationship’ with the divine, by whatever name you want to call it, and my teaching and methods were congruent with that. (I won’t go into the aspect of the “teaching beyond words and scripture” that also is very much a part of this; some of how I looked at these matters you find here.)
The question really struck me, and so I started to read a lot of Martin Buber, and what he had to say about the possible quality of true relationship moved me deeply.

Wer in der Beziehung steht, nimmt an einer Wirklichkeit teil, das heißt: an einem Sein, das nicht bloß an ihm und nicht bloß außer ihm ist. Alle Wirklichkeit ist ein Wirken, an dem ich teilnehme, ohne es mir eignen zu können. Wo keine Teilnahme ist, ist keine Wirklichkeit. Wo Selbstzueignung ist, ist keine Wirklichkeit. Die Teilnahme ist umso vollkommener, je unmittelbarer die Berührung des Du ist.
Das Ich ist wirklich durch seine Teilnahme an der Wirklichkeit. Es wird umso wirklicher, je vollkommener die Teilnahme ist.

Being in relationship one participates in reality, that means, one participates in a being that is not only one’s inner being nor is it the being outside of one. All reality is a becoming-real in which I participate without my being able to take possession of it. Without participation there is no reality. Where there is a taking into possession to oneself there is no reality. The more perfect the participation the more immediate is the touching of the thou.

The I is real through its participation with and in reality. And it becomes more real the more perfect the participation is.

(My translation of Martin Buber: Das Dialogische Prinzip – Ich und Du – Seite 65-66)

Over time starting to understand what Martin Buber is indicating I left behind my formal conviction that was very much founded on experiences interpreted through Eastern philosophy and spirituality. “Thou art That” (Vedanta)… “I and the world are one” (Upanishads)… “I am is all there is” (Advaita). And I was moved to explore in all manners possible to me, what is between us.

During the winter seminar of the same year I went for a walk in a wooded valley nearby. The afternoon sun was coloring the snow golden white, the gurgling streamlet hid underneath a thin layer of ice and a deep blue sky spanned over the wonderful silence, when all of a sudden I saw a flock of finches, sparrows, stock doves and a rusty brown bird with a many-colored tail that is very common here. Different birds in one flock settling in a couple of trees and starting a game, it seemed, flying from branch to branch and tree to tree: a fink jumped-flew onto a branch on which a dove was sitting who then flew to a branch on which one of the brown birds was sitting and so on. And it seemed to have a rhythm: the birds in a game I used to play as a child called “Bäumchen wechsle dich” – a delightful jumping and a flying all over.
I had never seen anything like it or heard of it before, yet this experience befitted my development of the period very well. It isn’t important what species of bird I am with – what matters is engaging with what is between us, “Can we find a common game?” I wrote in my diary. Because then we can play with all species of birds in the trees of life. You show yourself as the sparrow or the dove you are, as the crane or the eagle or any other bird you find yourself to be, and you are taking the other birds just the way they are… and then something new, unknown, a never before seen or experienced game begins. Whatever song you sing let’s hear it, and listen to our melody, because without both the game, our joyous, delightful, mutual game cannot happen.

That spring and summer I was in trouble because I started to see that I couldn’t go on with my old way of teaching in which I was the one that “has it”, and the people coming to me didn’t – or where not conscious of it. Not, that I didn’t feel connected anymore to the deep sources of life and being, not that there were no more Satori’s or deep mystical states – quite the contrary many of my days were spent in a very juicy sense of lightness, as if bubbles of champagne were coursing through my veins. But it was what I and others made out of this that was the trouble. It was the ‘vertical spirituality’ in the patriarchal mode that I became wary of. It reminded me very much of feudalism, a social structure that I didn’t want to be part of anymore.
And as my opposition was growing (the article linked above was written in that period; you can see how very critical it is) so was my insight into what I came to call the emerging archetype of the “between us”. There is the huge P2P movement, Wikipedia, open source programming, sharing economy, distributed research, Web 2.0 & 3.0, etc.; the Internet has opened a huge gate towards the culture of collaboration in the production of knowledge and understanding but also of products and services.
I also came in touch with spiritual teachings and philosophies that are deep and and encompassing, thorough and practical and sophisticated as well, which apparently are not in need of the ‘vertical stance’ (John Heron‘s participatory spirituality, Jorge Ferrer‘s revisioning of transpersonal psychology, Alan Rayner’s inclusionality, Samuel Bonder‘s wakening down in mutuality… to name but a few).

I also saw that many of the methods I was using already for quite some time – dynamic presencing for instance – could be regarded very much as an expression of the spirit between us, the “We” (whenever I am alluding to the emerging archetype of the “between us”, which is also “the spirit between us” I will from now on be using We with capital W). And as I realized this the methods changed to incorporate this understanding. I started to realize that my real art is creating an atmosphere and situations in which the We can appear and start to move and even incorporate each and every one of us. The beauty of course is that this understanding meshes with another insight that came out of facilitating “Enlightenement guaranteed ;-)” events, a method that has become famous through Genpo Roshi who calls it “Big Mind”. Suffice it to say here that this method uses voices or sub-personalities as the main gate to understand how the human mind works. So there is not only the We between the many persons outside of us but inside of us as well. These ideas evolved into an understanding that I will sketch in more detail below.

Then in autumn and winter 2006 I went through a deep existential crisis which touched all aspects of my life, heart and mind – to put it in the metaphor I met the senex, Saturn, and it took quite some time before I could discover the We and allow it to unfold between us. But as spring dawned and with it my old friend Jupiter it was as if I started to hear a symphony – many different melodies coming together. And if I put it in language, this is how it sounds…
At this moment of our history we are on a critical path starting to leave an old view behind. If I am to sketch the perspectives of this view in a few broad strokes I would say it is basically one of centralism. It reminds me of what I think went on at the time when Kepler revolutionized the astronomical place of earth and sun. Before him most people, even the most intelligent ones, believed the earth was the center of the cosmos. But now he showed that the sun was at the center. It took a few hundred years for us then to realize that this is really not so, this cosmos does not have a center (more about this metaphor it in this article). So instead of our sun being at center we are now faced with innumerable stars and their relationships – constellations and configurations. So as beautiful as the sun might be around which I turn, and as enlightening the sun might be around which you turn, we are discovering that if we do not find the We (the movement and nourishment in our relationships and what happens or doesn’t happen in it) between us this universe starts falling apart into discrete stars and galaxies which are separated by huge stretches of empty space.

So it is very beautiful and makes deep sense that obviously this space is not empty at all; it is flowing over with the We that embraces all. And as I said, the We is making itself felt, understood, intuited all over this globe and is manifesting in many different ways – as people wanting to cooperate, to collaborate, to be in community and communion, seeing that the time of heroes (central suns) is definitely over, the time for the saviors and lone leaders that could set things right again. The world and its problems have become so complex that we can only hope to find adequate answers in “circles”of very different people where we can meet eye to eye and heart to heart – in a sort of collective leadership maybe. And this is underfoot already on a worldwide scale. The place here would not suffice to mention all the initiatives that are going on all over the world. Yet, this is one aspect of We manifesting.

Another aspect is the sense of spiritual or soul families or clans finding each other again across countries and continents. It is as if we have chosen ages ago to come together in this critical time on the planet to be midwives to what is wanting to emerge. What ever may be the case we do recognize each other and there is an immediate connection beyond words, even beyond understanding; all we do is accept it.

A third aspect manifests through what has been called the Circle Being, manifesting as a higher order of being together with an incredible coherence that draws in the individuals participating. This certainly is We, being highly coherent. (Helen has written about it here, and I have also reported a very strong experience here). The “between us” can also come into being in what has been called “a silver moment” or in German Sternstunde, “stellar hour”. In the Bible it has been alluded to – and much misinterpreted as only applying to the divine person of Jesus – as, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name there am I am in their midst.” (Matth. 18:20)

A fourth aspect is the insight that our very consciousness itself can best be regarded as plural and not singular as a traditional mysticism has it. In the individual this shows itself as sub-personalities or the many voices that speak in us – for instance the ego, the inner child, the judge, the saboteur, the seeker, the achiever, the non-seeking mind, the inner master, the higher self etc.. So looking at our individual consciousness or psyche as a “we” rather than as an “I” would pave the way for a “circle being” to manifest inside the mind of the individual. This to me at this moment is one of the most interesting aspect of the emerging archetype.
It seems obvious that the “inner We” does not dissolve individuality, I or ego; it rather enhances its possibilities and functionality, because as the so far dominant ego realizes its embeddedness it can let go much easier of its compulsory need to control, and become part of the conductorless orchestra of the “inner We” tuning in to the “larger We” dawning on all of mankind and even, so I think, all beings and what we now still call derogatively ‘dead matter’.

This allows us to regard the emerging We as a scalable, fractal phenomenon on many and maybe even all levels. Contemplating all of this I come to the understanding that I am called – as are many others – to support and nourish these dynamic constellations of individuals and voices to configure themselves so that the transformation that is necessary for the health of the planet and its inhabitants is facilitated optimally.

The Flow of the Present – A Contemplation

space is like air… is like water…
… and matter very much like dynamic, standing waves.

[audio:http://www.mushin.de/audio/Flow_of_the_present(blog.mushin.de).MP3](7:52 Min – 2,7 MB) Download.

We do not see air – we see the wind moving grass and branches and leaves, and we feel the wind on our skin. What is present everywhere being so important to our life that we cannot do without it for more than a minute or two – we don’t see it. Air is so invisible that we act as if it were nothing – empty space.
And we see something different: things, objects and beings, humans – limited, separate, singular forms and gestalts.

Yet, closing our eyes we do not feel limits, even if we touch whatever-it-is.
Touching we can explore where surfaces interface & touch; we feel textures, temperature and sometimes inexplicable pulls and pushes, yet their limit and shape as independent form is added in our imagination. We create an image, imagine: not wrong, not right – an image.
We cannot touch the air; it’s surrounding us entirely. Only when moving we feel it – the wind of our movement.
We have no image of the air. It, being transparent, only is experienced in movement, touching grass, branches and leaves and all manner of ‘things’, carrying some of it along in its breeze, wind or storm.
We have no image of the air.
No image, but a feeling.

Holding our hands still with eyes closed in a windless place, the feeling-touching field of our hands goes way beyond the skin we see, imagining it to be its limit. Holding still we don’t feel were the hand ends and the air begins, and also we don’t feel were exactly our hand ends and where the arm begins… except if we use our imagination.
We don’t feel limits.
Just close your eyes and feel, sense and experience for yourself if there are any limits there, any separation, or if not everything is flowing into everything else…

Expanding the field of awareness to the whole body, you don’t know where what is called the body begins and ends. All limbs, all so called parts of your body flow into, melt into each other. You can discern between arm and hand but in your feeling experience, in the immediate presence of your awareness – eyes closed – you cannot separate them.
Separation is an act of imagination, an artifact of our cultural heritage – not good, not bad, just the case we can put our experience in. You can’t feel the limit, the separation, even though its easy to discern or differentiate.

And, feeling what’s called your body when you close your eyes it’s easy to feel the living spaciousness expanding way beyond the limits your imagination habitually creates.
A living spaciousness, a presence gradually melting into an absence. And when you focus on where exactly the presence ends and the absence begins… can you find it?
What’s present flows into what’s absent.
You feel the presence of the absence – not as if it were something, but also not as if it were nothing: The absent is present to you.
Just close your eyes and feel, sense and experience what your feeling reveals to you.

It is as if you were feeling unlimited vastness – space.
A space that, even more than air, permeates everything.

The more often you enjoy this spaciousness the more often you sense what flows within it – as if it were a soft breeze maybe or a current in water.
And you might feel a tingling in what, with your eyes open, looks like your body – the dynamic standing wave whose continual flow forms your whereabouts.
Sometimes the tingling feels like the fine bubbles in champagne, a freshness that bubbles through and through, coursing through the streamings in the whereabouts our imagination calls body.
Sometimes the tingling becomes stronger and stronger in certain areas of the dynamic standing wave that forms the flow of your whereabouts – maybe as if it were flowing into a whirl. (In New Age folklore these areas are called “chakras” using an ancient Indian, Sanskrit term: ???? “wheel”, vortex of aliveness.)

All of this appears where we are, at the place of our presence; not a separate place, not an object at all. Like a village is not separate from the landscape it’s embedded in, although easily discernable fom its surrounding, so we are never separate from the spaciousness that we feelingly so easily experience.