Benevolent Space

Most mornings I sit for 10+ minutes and, for lack of a better, not so charged, word, meditate. It was a strong desire to regularly celebrate being present that started this originally.

During this time once in a while I ask myself, “What am I doing here?” A question that doesn’t call for an explanation, although it’s always nice to have one. Telling myself and others stories about the ‘why’ of matters and behaviors is a very civilized thing, isn’t it? Especially if these stories can be ‘liked’ by my spiritual friends all over the world. But when I’m asking this question in my celebrating-presence-time what I’m doing is inquiring into the very practise that I’m engaged in, synchronous to when I’m engaged in it.
So yesterday a two word metaphor appeared that somehow changed the basic outlook of my morning-celebration from ‘precencing=celebration’. In a way it ordinarily has a more shining aspect – as if being present is a doing; of course, it isn’t in many respects, a doing, but it’s still an outflow most of the time. I didn’t really get that before these two words changed the ‘meditation’ to Benevolent Space.

Other than space, which to me is a neutral, never-ending openness for all/everthing to be, benevolent space is more of an invitation to what is good, beautiful and true to thrive. Benevolence [Latin, bene – good, volentia – will) is not neutral at all, benevolent space isn’t open to everything, it does have a membrane  – what that is? I’ll be coming to that.

As I have been contemplating benevolent space it became clearer in the following days that it is deeply connected to what we can call ‘seeing trust’. Most of my controlling tendencies stem from blind trust, and because of that I’ve been been hurt many times when I was a child and later in life as well. So to control ‘things’ in my case was vehemently developing the cognitive, some may call it the intellectual, functioning of my mind. Inquisitive –there is a resonance to inquisition here!– doubt and a tendency to question every assumption, idea, statement etc. and analyse it deeply, was born and sharpened out of that basic pain of a violated, blind trust.
Don’t misunderstand, please, I still love that ability of mine – listening to people I often, almost tacitly, feel/see the assumptions that their stories and explanations elaborate. But nowadays I do not feel the need to point out and criticize these assumptions anymore (well, most of the time, anyways); it’s just assumptions after all, the basic building blocks of any narrative. I also do not need to do any inquisition anymore, neither into others’ stories nor my own, as I’ve said goodbye to Universal Truth or the One Story or the Ultimate Assumption again, most of the time; sometimes, when I’m on auto-pilot it still happens. But then it’s easy to relax the automatic inquisitor, and lean back…

So in my further contemplation within the benevolent space I learnt that ‘seeing trust’ is the mature form of controlling. I actually trust that my and the collective unconscious is benevolent by nature, and moreover that not closing my eyes to whatever appears is simply fine, not compulsory but just okay — its often complex and/or paradoxical what appears, or dark, or …
Clearly, I cannot control anything in the immature sense of the world, but I can, of course, close my eyes to it and act if it isn’t happening or even numb myself to it more or less effectively. That is how immature control works, denial, obstruction, encapsuling, numbing, hiding in hazes; immature control not knowing it’s immature as long as it is immature…

Angela Lergo (Spain), I give you my heart, installation

And so I come back to the membrane around benevolent space: It’s ‘seeing trust’, guarding that space against malevolent influences and behaviors. It allows shadows in, though, as they are not malevolent but actually, once they enter benevolent space, they turn out to be a very peculiar kind of ‘being’, these hurting me’s. Maybe I’ll be writing about my dark friends at some other point.

For now I simply wanted to share the benevolent space with you and thereby expand it into the manifest realms of interpersonal flow.


An Anthropologists Take on New Media and YouTube

This is one of the rare gems that come out of universities that is actually fun to learn from. Full of examples he takes us on a ride through the short history of YouTube and what it’s effects on our self-reflection and reflections are – also looking at the emerging values in this culture that, at least that’s my expectation, will be some of the values that govern the 21st Century.

(Thank you Brad Nye for sending this link)

More interesting stuff on media / youtube anthrropology here

“21st Century Enlightenment

They’ve done it again: produced an animation to elucidate some great thoughts of wehre we want to go… enjoy.

The Truth about what Really Motivates People to Work

A really cool movie that shows scientific proof of what people are motivated by. I love working in and with companies that are taking this lesson by heart.

The Culture and Networks

A very interesting slideshow that helped me see a couple of aspects of the deep patterns at work in our cultural development. Thank you, Tim Stock for this work.
Best viewed whole-screen

My more or less life channel

Just testing this – it’s not really life yet, I think, as I’m not having my iPhone camera on all the time; but I could more or less… So let’s see, where this takes us. (It even has sound; it’s strange that I can only use this functionality on my GS by using this app.)

The Death of God

These days a large part of the world is celebrating the death and resurrection of God’s Only Begotten Son – an incarnation of Himself. And this year, on Good Friday, when listening to Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the St. Matthäus Church in Berlin, for the first time I could feel what this means – the death of God.  The sadness, and the feeling that comes when “Now you’re on your own…”

No more guardian in the sky, the death of the Transcendent Protector – the loneliness of incarnation and the inevitable end it brings…. Embodied life, the interlude between bodiless eternities before and after…

Original by Marcin Wasiolka, edited by Mushin

It’s not that I do actually believe in the literal happening of the Cross and all that the Christian Myth claims as Real and True. I don’t. Actually I think we cannot take anything as being literal – ever. What strikes me, rather, is how central to our culture is this most basic pattern of the suffering and death of God – and His resurrection. But that’s an addition I can make intellectually. What I felt during listening to Bach’s music was the deep, deep sadness and grief and finally the acceptance of His death…

And an interpretation arose in me that tells me that the death of all that is God to me needs to happen, and actually did happen during those 3 1/2 hours.  And I thought of Nietzsche and his proclamation that “God is dead!” And the immense drama that is there. And I thought that maybe as humanity something similar is happening to us – the Old Gods are dying, and their death deeply affects and saddens us.

The death of a god is nothing new in the history of religion, I think. Osiris comes to mind or Tammuz. But the death of the Only Begotten Son of the Deity claiming to be the highest and actually only real god… Well, that gives it an absolutist twist that allows someone like me to understand, or rather feel something about the human condition that I haven’t measured out in my soul before. Deep in our Western culture Divine Death is anchored as an actuality that, even if one believes in the resurrection 3 days later, might be part of how come we are as we are and do as we do.

We could go into a discussion about sin, and the ecclesiastical explanation for why all this happened – but this seems to be the behavior typical when facing something we don’t want to see – we escape into explanation and interpretation. We seek the signs for hope – and the Christians give us hope with their belief in the Divine Resurrection. Yet, it is alright to let the shock enter us, we can allow the rumble of the thunder to shake us.

So my Easter wish for you is that the primordial image of God’s Death may initiate you.

And may You be resurrected time and again…

Addendum April 5:

I’ve come across paragraph in the book I’m reading (Alone with the Alone, by Henry Corbin) that put the above sketched experience in an interesting light.

If the cry “God is dead” has left many on the brink of the abyss, it is because the mystery of the Cross of Light was long ago done away with. Neither pious indignation nor cynical joy can alter the fact. There is only one answer, the words that Sophia, emerging from the night, murmured in the ear of the pensive pilgrim circumambulating the Ka’aba: “Can it be that you yourself are already dead?” The secret to which Ibn ‘Arabi and his companions initiate us impels those whom that cry has shaken to the depth of their being to recognize what God has died and who are the dead. To recognize this is to understand the secret of the empty tomb. But the Angel must have removed the stone, and we must have the courage to look into the bottom of the tomb if we are to know that it is indeed empty and that we must look for Him elsewhere. The greatest misfortune that can befall the shrine is to become the sealed tomb before which men mount guards and do so only because there is a corpse in it. Accordingly, it takes the greatest courage to proclaim that it is empty, the courage of those able to dispense with the evidence of reason and authority because the only secret they possess is the secret of love that has seen.

Maybe because I’ve been shaken to the bone by the Death of God and blessed with standing alone in the ‘god-less’ landscape that I saw after my tears dried, that I considered – circumambulating around the center of my core – Sophia’s words as actually directed at me: “Can it be that you yourself are already dead?” And then, regarding myself to be the tomb into which God’s dead body was taken, looking, looking on Sophia’s behest, I see that it is empty. The Old God, the One speaking in parables, the One that the religion is built around, the literal One and Only God has died, the Highest Authority… and now the tomb is empty. An Angel rolled away the stone and when I look there is no-one there.

Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch

I’ve had the great honor to contribute to Jean Russell’s initiative to create a book on thrivability in a collective booklet. The result is linked below. Enjoy!
(By the way, you can see the ‘slideshow’ by clicking on “Full” in the navigationbar at the bottom)

Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch

There is a pdf version, which you can see here:
We advise not viewing the pdf due to large file size. May exceed email size limits.

You can also view the book through the thrivability website.

Revisioning Reality: The Soul of Body and Spirit

I’m starting to leave the idea of oneness behind in favor of a kind of pluralistic, polytheistic, polycentric inner/outer reality. I’m starting to contemplate that monotheism, oneness, big bang, verticality, all-pervading consciousness, etc. are part of a perspective that is always playing for dominance (and obviously is not; but downplaying what … Read morehinders it as dark, below and shadowy)…
Maybe that deep pattern is much more akin to an ecology than a hierarchy of ever more transcendent stages that dominantly encompass ‘lower’ stages; maybe the deep pattern swirls along polydirectional interactive paths and spaces in which all kinds of beings and entities “metabolise”?

(Installment 4 of the series Body, Soul and Spirit: #1, #2, #3)

Leaving the perspective of Oneness behind I’m embarking on a journey into a pluralistic, polytheistic, polycentric inner/outer reality. And as the contours of this reality come into focus I take another look at monotheism, oneness, big bang, verticality, all-pervading consciousness, philosophia perennis etc. It seems that all of these ‘memes‘ are – in many ways – playing to dominate how we make sense, how we live a spiritual, sound life. It’s as if I take down the bandages and discover an unbound face…

(As with all the posts in this series I’ll just follow a meandering path and really, do not want to?prove anything. Proof belongs to the empirical fantasy that, as efficient as it is in creating technological and scientific gadgets and theories, seems to be a major influence in creating a catastrophic ecological predicament.)

I want to start this post by saying “Thank you!” to Michel Bauwens who invited me to gather my thoughts into an article, after reading a tweet of mine that asked, “What if there is no unity connecting all and everyone but “polithy”? What if it’s not Wholeness but Manifoldness? What if fantasy is more fundamental than reality? What if we aren’t here to grow but to bloom? What if we’re not here to learn but to deepen?” You can read what followed from this tweet here. (Original material and some more here and here)
And I want to thank all my friends who, by challenging me and commenting on those different threads, have greatly contributed to the unfolding of the following images and views, aka perspectives.
Even though many matters have not been touched upon in that conversation I feel it has helped to find my bearings much better in this unfolding polyverse…

So embarking on todays exploration, the first in this very young 2010, I’ll take it for granted that the polycentric and polytheistic imagination of the outer and inner world are much more fitting with what is real than the dominant monocausal (Big Bang &/or Cosmic Consciousness, Non-Duality etc.) idea of reality. Also on my map are the images that have formed by the Living Field, images I have been looking at from different angles for many years and published about a couple of times in the latter half of 2009 (regarding participatory design & what I call ‘collaboration ecology’ here; how the living field is connected to the art of living here, and on resonance and the living field here).
My thoughts and feelings are, another disclosure, also formed by the metaphors coming from the psychology of C.G. Jung and J. Hillman on archetypes. Here “every psychic process is an image and an ‘imagining’…” (C.G. Jung) Image, as I’m using it, is very close to the original meaning of  ‘idea’ (Old Greek eidos, eidolon), which unites in one term what one sees and the means by which one sees bringing together picture/image, perspective and the seeing itself. So when I think about archetypes then I regard them as ‘being’ as much in the act of seeing as in the object seen, they express as the person, situation, pattern as much as they reside in the way I perceive them. And if I listen closely they’ll even help me interpret them…

We van also think of an archetype as a ‘plantanimal’, an animal with some plantlike characteristics. Like a plant archetypes are deeply rooted in our shared and personal inscape (the word I prefer over mind, inner realm, psyche, etc.) and nourished by forever invisible depths, and like an animal every archetype has its own will, perception, consciousness, motives, movements and being; sometimes it is tame and sweet, and at other times it threatens to devour us. Moreover I envision archetypes very much like Rupert Sheldrake imagines morphogenetic fields. These “form generating” fields attract what is akin to them through morphic resonance. So a morphogenetic “rose-field” would, for instance, help to form every rose on the planet properly (working together with the genes). You might say that the morphic field puts rosiness into roses…

An image incarnates in a form; a rose is rosy by grace of its form to which I also count the scent and everything else that invades our senses. Form reveals meaning…
So “rose” is more than a flower that you can smell and see, rose has over- and undertones that resonate with it, many layers of meaning. All of this creates the ‘morphic resonance’ of a rose. (Obviously I’m taking this way beyond Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas, as he expresses them in public, nevertheless I think they’re resonating with him very much.) Morphic fields and archetypes  constellate reality, the reality of a rose and what it evokes, and when this resonates with us, we ‘get’ what ‘it’ means.
Morphic resonance is very much like analogy, like when in our inscape we hold two or more images next to each and ‘see’ their close relationship, or resonance, our sound connection. And when we do this we are not a blank slate or a clear mirror – even if we’re in the most spacious and unattached form – we are already moved by a form, a morphic field, an archetype, a set of memes, a certain constellation of the living field that we are being at any moment, a (sub-)personality.

Taking this one step further, maybe, we could regard an archetype as an ’embedding field’, an accommodating space, a hosting ecology that forms and is formed by the participating presences. If, psychologically speaking, we look deep into whatever happens, we will eventually uncover archetypal images unfolding dynamically like a river, a stream. Our very act of discerning these archetypes is following archetypal pathways and uncovers them as we go. Uncovering your tracks as you are leaving them, being able to stay with that ecstatic pattern or ‘order,’ feels to be very valuable and nourishing. Archetypes generate values and life-styles.
You might notice that I’m using ‘morphogenetic field’, archetype and (sub-)personality almost interchangeably; that is because they seem to be different gateways to a very similar “arche“, a very basic ‘image’, an “Urbild” in German. To use a popular archetype as an example, the “inner child”: When the inner child is being me, clothed with my character, in my particular ‘colors’, the inner child in you will immediately resonate — as in morphic resonance or because it touches a similar (sub-)personality. Obviously, if your inner child is being repressed by “the bully” or maybe the “critic” or “protector”, that particular archetype, morphic field, (sub-)personality will then try to repress or control me. There’s nothing really personal about this happening, unless an ego is involved; otherwise it is just two archetypes, two archetypal ‘inscape images‘ encountering each other…

Whatever we see (in the many ways you can interpret this word) is a form (morphe) in our inscape, and whether we like it or not, our inscape is closely linked and in many respects the same as our imagination. And here I’m not talking about what derogatorily is called “fantasy” by those under the influence of the scientific hero on his quest to find the Theory to explain Everything: I’m talking about the living field of images that continually and dynamically constellate the Common Inscape we call reality.
I imagine the Common Inscape to be an ecology of influences, where “persuasion” or Eros is one direction and “necessity” or Ananke another, maybe like “up” and “down” in 3D space.   These two poles of Common Inscape give a directionality to what becomes, is, and was present in the collective unconsious, the Living Field of resonances and analogies, the manifold streams and interweavings of meaning-making. This weaves the web that constitutes the presences of reality. Not all, of course, as there is always unresolvable Mystery in being present, or presencing, a mystery that incarnates in the celebration of “I’m here!” – wherever and whatever this may be.

Our Common Inscape is the hosting space in which also “physical reality” unfolds according to very strict habits, habits which we call natural law. But obviously this particular niche of the Common Inscape is just a certain region within the larger ecology. The Common Inscape — or world-soul if you like — doesn’t have an outside, so maybe the proper name should be Common Scape, but given the dominant memes I keep using inscape, and common inscape for the ecology that every personal inscape participates in and shapes to a certain degree. From deeply unattached, enlightened presences to very lush, extremely involved presences living by “The only way out is through.” From people who absolutely surrender to “the way things are”, worshippers of necessity, Ananke, to persuaders and seducers who attract by the power of the images they evoke in our inscape, our personal garden in the Common Inscape.

Our guiding images: the archetypes that live through us in our inscape, appearing in imagination, the home of the images by which we see, collaborating with the images we do see as objects and the Unknown. The images, the presences and archetypes constellate along the lines of the meanings we uncover. I say uncover — or reveal — because it seems that the meaning comes from the constellation, the imago that I see, and I receive it, the meaning oozes out of the deep form of the ‘situation’ or ‘being’, from the presence. We might uncover this deep form by asking, “What is the archetypal pattern along the lines of which the present moment unfolds? What is the archetypal melody that is arranging the shape of the unfolding moment?”
And, taking this as cue, I ask myself right now “So what is the archetypal pattern of the present situation?  What unfolds right now and who is thus embodied, worshipped, calling for attention?” (Writing this post and contemplating it while I edit.)

There is the pattern of my learning: In writing this post I learn what I think by turning it into something I can tell you, reading this posting. Obviously I also hope that some of you feel like adding something to the comment section to expand my horizon on what I think I wrote by writing about what you think I wrote.
This part of the pattern I can feel like a reaching out from, physically, the larger heart-area of my body. It also feels like I can sense your presence right now; a presence that might travel in time from your present, as you’re reading it, into your past and my presence, as I’m writing this right now and when I’ll be editing it before publishing. This illustrates that our Common Inscape has a different connection to time, except of course in the scientific niche where time flows mechanically and uniform, and where one second has the same length as the former and the next; but the length of a second in the the rest of the Common Inscape can be the eternity of looking in your lovers eyes or the eternity you spend on the edge of the 30 feet high tower before you jump into the water down there for the first time. Two eternal seconds of different length; two situations where seconds don’t count at all. And two seconds of falling…

Reading again the last paragraph I see another pattern of my inscape, something like inflation; like I’m blowing up balloons with different colors of the basic story I want to tell. The story is about the underlying ecology, the ecology of patterns of influence. This ecology is polycentric in every respect, meaning there is not one privileged center or meta-center (a center that is everywhere). Of course a particular ecological niche in the Common Inscape can be monocentric. There are quite a few of those. Nevertheless all are embedded in the entire ecology emerging. In the ecology of the Common Inscape there is place for monotheistic and polythesitic, for pantheistic and panentheistic, and metadox, and heterodox, and paradox views…

These views are, as has been said, already patterned by and seen with archetypically informed eyes.

So then, “What about the self?” Is the self an archetype? And what then would “Be thyself!” mean? To begin with it would certainly be the cris du coer, the heart cry of the self-archetype in constellation, ordering the presences according to its particular pattern, where  there is a self in the center seeing ‘everything and everyone else’ around itself, the center.
Those of you who have experienced Hellinger’s or similar constellation work (systemic constellations, for instance) can, I’m sure feel what I mean when I speak of archetypes constellating presences. So imagine the self-archetype to be represented by a person in a ‘physical’ constellation. We would then explore the relationship between the self and the different other archetypes present in the constellation, and we would get to hear and see the representatives of these archetypes in their dynamics. Whatever this constellation will look like, it will be a Pantheon with some top influencers and some lesser influencers, different kinds of gods. If we ask and bring in more archetypes that belong to the larger ensemble expressing in, as the entirety of a person, we get an image of the soul. Soul, the most profound term for what we’ve been calling inscape so far. (The Common Inscape being the world-soul.)

The ecology of the inscape, of the soul is my main concern in this series of loosely connected blog-postings. And soul is everywhere – soul is not located, but associated by ‘strong analogy’ and resonance with our whereabouts. The soul is so much like you and so strongly resonates with you, that you might as well call it your soul; and also, we don’t have a soul, but soul has us, we are soul’s humans. What we take to be ourselves is more precisely a particular garden in soulscape, in Common Inscape. You and I, we all are soul’s unique per-sona (Old Greek, “sound through”), its coordinates and coordinators in the dynamic constellation of the living field’s ecology.

This shows, I guess, that body and spirit that are embedded in soul, in Common Inscape. We are, body, mind and spirit, inhabitants of Common Inscape, participating in a polyverse ecology whose ‘regions’ are the archetypes that influence everything within their sphere including us when passing through.

The Imaginary and the Imaginal

Beyond the wallA wonderful way to start the new year – providing a very inspiring and interesting text by Henry Corbin (below a quote, further below a longer text). It has been dawning on me that regarding imagination as a reality opens up a whole new perspective to look at the Living Field, Soul and Spirit…

If you don’t want to read the whole treatise in the window below (in another translation from French also to be found here), the following excerpted paragraphs sum up some of the essential thoughts in it (my highlights):

…alam al-mithal, the world of the Image, mundus imaginalis: a world as ontologically real as the world of the senses and the world of the intellect, a world that requires a faculty of perception belonging to it, a faculty that is a cognitive function, a noetic value, as fully real as the faculties of sensory perception, or intellectual intuition. This faculty is the imaginative power, the one we must avoid confusing with the imagination that modern man identifies with “fantasy” and that, according to him, produces only the “imaginary.”

I have proposed the Latin term mundus imaginalis for it, because we are obliged to avoid any confusion between what is here the object of imaginative or imaginal perception and what we ordinarily call the imaginary. This is so because the current attitude is to oppose the real to the imaginary as though to the unreal, the utopian, as it is to confused symbol with allegory, to confuse the exegesis of the spiritual sense with an allegorical interpretation.

…the appearance of an Image having the quality of a symbol is a primary phenomenon (Urphänomen), unconditional and irreducible, the appearance of something that cannot manifest itself otherwise to the world where we are.

If we do not have available a cosmology whose schema can include, as does the one that belongs to our traditional philosophers, the plurality of universes in ascensional order, our Imagination will remain unbalanced, its recurrent conjunctions with the will to power will be an endless source of horrors. We will be continually searching for a new discipline of the Imagination, and we will have great difficulty in finding it as long as we persist in seeing in it only a certain way of keeping our distance with regard to what we call the real, and in order to exert an influence on that real.

For instead of the image being elevated to the level of a world that would be proper to it, instead of it appearing invested with a symbolic function,leading to an internal sense, there is above all a reduction of the image to the level of sensory perception pure and simple, and thus a definitive degradation of the image. Should it not be said, therefore, that the more successful this reduction is, the more the sense of the imaginal is lost, and the more we are condemned to producing only the imaginary?

…is it not precisely this postulate of the objectivity of the imaginal world that is suggested to us, or imposed on us, by certain forms or certain symbolic emblems (hermetic, kabbalistic; or mandalas) that have the quality of effecting a magic display of mental images, such that they assume an objective reality?

I’m working at my next blog entry and it will, among other things, take Corbin’s perspective a bit further…


Body, Soul and Spirit 3: Who are We, and who’s next, and what?

Body, Soul and Spirit 1: Modes of being alive – on modes of consciousness and why we are polymorphous
Body, Soul and Spirit 2: The Way of the Soul – on what becomes embedded in flesh and why incarnate in the first place, and a bit on enlightenment

Imagine sitting in a circle with 20 people or so. Imagine going through a deep process that lets you pass from artificial community, where everybody is nice and friendly but not very authentic, to the authentic struggle for leadership and what’s next. The first step from polite to being more true, governed by the powerful drive for real healing and community, where alliances form to get everybody to do ‘the right thing’ – in short the charismatic, idealistic and beautiful chaos between well-meaning spiritual beings. But we’re not getting it together as we all have a good cause not easily given up, knowing the right way for ourselves and others. And more groupings happen and negotiations start, and haggling and trying to get everybody on one page; only it never works out and there is no way back to friendly superficiality.

Maybe somebody starts to cry and express sadness at our fragmentation. And the fixers and healers and dealers get new fuel. Maybe someone gets angry at all the haggling and conflict about what’s the right thing to do and all the efforts at healing and bridging gaps. Maybe someone even says they hate it when people comfort each other, and say that it’s alright when its not. And maybe a wave of protest rises against the voice saying, “Look at how we can’t even get it together, how should the world?”

As we go round and round in circles trying to heal, fix, organize, manage, try to get everyone to change, or to accept the way things are, or be this way or that, or at least do something… its all to no avail. The chaos persists; but since it’s part of a process and not ‘in the wild of the world’ its a civilized sort of chaos in which this fundamentally discordant incoherence persists. And therefor its’s easier to to see that this is so.

As more and more persons come to this realization and see that not one of us, not even in a coalition of the best and brightest, can make us cohere into true community, and as this understanding sinks in slowly the voices die down and a depressed silence sets in.

As the silence thickens and deepens it, after a while, looses some of its sense of failure and depression. A feeling of “just so” might spread, spiced with seeing the beauty of people just sitting in a circle. Doing nothing, saying nothing and not knowing what’s next, or where to go from here.

And now imagine a first voice speaking up in celebration of this, of us here, just the way we are, without a clue and a solution, but here. And after a deep appreciative silence in which you can almost feel everyone tasting the truth of what has just been said a second voice might say, “In a strange way I feel you are all part of a greater ‘us’.” Another pause where everyone just cherishes these words. And now, “I feel that we’re one body with 21 heads and 42 arms and legs…” We now can all feel something bigger gel. The the coherence takes, deep community is manifest and the Circle Being wakes up in the living field of all of us who are present…

I’ve facilitated many such “Circles of the Heart” – a happening that has many names: U-process, community building, gestalt-energy process, Edge of Emergence, collective wisdom, whatever. I know this process has been experienced by tens if not hundreds or even thousands of thousands people on this planet. It is real. It is risky cause it is out of anybody’s control. And the Hieros Gamos – the Divine Marriage – can be more or less intense, depending on the circumstances, the context and the nature of the facilitation, but it is definite evidence for an Intelligence that manifests between us.

Now imagine someone telling you that you are not really a fixed person, there is not just one but there are many voices that manifest in this one person that we all call “me”. Imagine that it is much more than just a metaphor and that you’re really a different person under the shower, than with your lover in the warm and intimate night, or with your boss in her office, or with the police officer giving you a speeding ticket, or with your children when your playing hide and seek and so endless on.

Imagine that what we call ego, what everyone of us calls “I, myself” is just that one voice that claims much of the goodies of the others and disclaims most of the nasties. And now imagine that with what you ordinarily take to be yourself you go through a process where you get to be many of these other voices in ‘you’ quite intensely for a while. So imagine you are the inner child for a while, and then maybe the controller, and after that the critic and the protector and the healer-fixer and the seeker and the ‘awed one’ and the ‘shiny one’ and the divine and so on. And every time you embody a voice you notice, really, that the voice enlivens you in a particular way. Again and again.

Imagine you’ve gone through this process a couple of times. You’ve gotten to know some voices very well, your favorites. And some who are not your favorites but nevertheless they often sound through you, you are them and they are you. And through this process you come to know them much better. You also find some hidden voices, and then some more. And after a while, maybe you ask yourself, “Who of all these voices is the real me?”

It may not be easy to accept, but imagine you now know for a fact that the different voices all have a different answer to that. And now as this is sinking in you look at the question – Who am I? – and find that what you’ve always called your “self” is just one of the voices that sounds through you. And now imagine, as you’re studying the different ones that you are, or maybe more correct, that are you, you find that what the quantum physicists say about the measurement problem – that the observer is always influencing the outcome of any measurement s/he makes – is also true for awareness. When you study a voice in action it changes; you know it does because you remember that when you’re not aware of “the voice that’s speaking now” (maybe the ‘curious reader’ or the ‘thoughtful seeker’ or ‘critical thinker’ or whatever) it simply follows its own internal pilot but once you’re aware, something essential changes.

I believe “awareness” or “consciousness” is one of the voices – or call them archetypes – that can be you and me, and to a certain extend us. So when this influences the “being in the world” of any voice it is changed irrevocably. Awareness can be very dominant, much like love or hate or passion – and just like these it is out of control. You cannot decide to be conscious, or more conscious, unless you’re conscious already. And so it seems to be with most, if not all of our voices or sub-personalities, or demons, or archetypes, or whatever you want to call this. So when you are investigating these voices, it’s the investigator that is looking at these ‘others’. And when you enter a process like this (I used to do guided tours through our voices with the title, “Enlightenment guaranteed”, and for some minutes at least it worked out every time) you first act ‘as if’ you’re the inner child, for instance. But then, after a while and with the help of the others, you truly become it… And there you are, investigator, child, guardian, dominator, manipulator, hero, honorable one, teacher, student, critic, madman, wanderer, simply being here, healer, meditator, enlightened mind, cosmic heart, transcendent navigator.

And now imagine that you start to consider the possibility that as the persons in the Circle of the Heart went through a cycle with some definable stages – artificial community, chaos, depression/sadness, silence, coherence and celebrating the polymorphic togetherness of Circle Being – that all your ‘inner voices’ go through a similar process in life. Imagine that you’re lucky and things work out; imagine that you’re blessed and grace showers on you; imagine the Moirae spin that destiny for you; imagine that you’ve chosen that fate and the We that is Me coheres in your inner ecology, time and again…onemove

It seems that some things are conducive to such happenings. Many of the voices that are me are convinced that as a human species we need more and more of this if we are to thrive instead of fading away in fragments in a more or less catastrophic way. So imagine with me, if you like, how more and more our inner voices find both, authentic expression – able to offer a genuine contribution to all of you – and the grace to fall silent genuinely, sadly maybe or depressed, because all is done and to no avail. And how out of that silence emerges ….

Test (Creating a wikipage on my blog)

This is testing a plugin that would show a wiki page in my blog

If you would like to edit Wiki-pages on my blog, please send a request using this form. I will then create a wiki-editor account on my blog for you (this will keep the spam-bots out).

Embedding a Google Wave the Easy Way

If you do not, as yet, have an account with “Google Wave” you cannot see the embedded wave; in it you also find the step by step guide as to how to implement a Wave into WordPress the easy way:

[wave id=”!w+nuL1mEMWC” width=”100%” height=”500″]

Embedding a Google Wave (the second wave)

So this is visible now, I think. Please if you can see it – which you should if you’ve got a Wave account, can you please add a blip to the wave? Thanx)

Also, if you get the question if you want to keep running the script, answering ‘yes’ is probably the best, as it works great here – and oh, you must have “gears” in place, but that you should have to run your Wave account in the first place.

(Update 16 October) I’m now deleting all Test Waves except the one you find here because the waves slow the site down very much at this moment and I have now ‘conquered” the art of embedding as you can see – if you can 🙂

Embedding a Google Wave

If you’ve got a google wave account you should be able to see this…
This is a first trial to see some of the functionality and embeddability…

(Update 15 October) This is the original one that always disappeared because, probably, it was too much for the script to call on the “Wavr” (that’s the plugin I’m using to embed the wave on the WordPress end) function in the same post twice. So I’m lifting the second wave and give it another post to be embedded in.

(Update 16 October) I’m now deleting all Test Waves except the one you find here because the waves slow the site down very much at this moment and I have now ‘conquered” the art of embedding as you can see – if you can 🙂

Leadership, Community and Transforming the Whole

The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

I have been contemplating this ‘common knowledge’ for some time now. “The whole”, of course, implies an order or arrangement, a constellation of “parts” whose behavior and being as a whole is a) not predictable from summing them up and b) can not be understood from the level of a part or on the level of a summation of these parts.

Take a car for instance, when all its parts are arranged properly and it’s fueled up, you can sit down in this machine-whole and drive it anywhere – provided you have a license. If the same car with the the very same parts has crashed, maybe because someone without a license drove, it’s not a whole anymore, its a heap, its the sum of its parts.

The whole of a human being doesn’t have parts, I’d say, but members. As a very flexible whole it can do without quite a few of its members before it becomes a heap of cells and organs. This leads me to the following restatement of the more general statement above,

A living whole is exponentially more than the sum of its members.

pregnant with EarthA living whole can also be aware of actually being such a whole, of being a self. This happens to be so with human beings and as far as we can tell with other beings as well, apes, whales and dolphins, elephants, crows and magpies, and probably many others. And if we consider the members of our awareness to be voices (sub-personalities) than what we call our consciousness can also be much better understood as a whole…

A group, a business, an organisation is a whole that is even beyond what can be said about living wholes. This whole is made up of living wholes which – once it has achieved a high coherence as described in some of my recent blogs about the living field – is as profoundly beyond living wholes as living wholes are beyond mechanical wholes. So that

A living field whole is incomparably more than the sum of its wholes.

My heart is bumping as I write this because right now a conference is happening in Brazil (State of the World Forum) that we – Gaiaspace/Gaiasoft – are providing a social and collaboration network for; my heart is bumping because what I’m saying here has consequences for all the world changing movements that my friends and I care so much about, I believe.

volunteers_ld_wideweb__470x358,0As the climate and global financial crisis is challenging mankind and as large social movements are emerging that want to tackle these problems and implement solutions, I still find them very much ‘married’ to the idea that if the sum of people doing ‘the right thing’ were only large enough everything would change, everything would turn out good.

In this thinking we need to get the VIPs, stars, captains of industry, “the most high impact people” as someone recently put it, to show the way – get the attention of the media, the business community, the governments and when the sum of people is large enough change will happen.
Only, it won’t. Not really. Because this is the old way that got us into the trouble we’re in. It is not really engaging citizens, it is recruiting them for a cause that’s being shown to them, regarding them basically as consumers, as some kind of follower. O, sure, it gets a certain number of people enthusiastic, the idealists that engage gladly – and, if watered down enough, it can even become a main stream. But this is not the transformation we need, it is green fashion – which, to be sure, is much better than the much more wasteful fashion…

The main fallacy of this ‘large sum’ view, that has until very recently been mine and still in many ways is by habit, is that it believes in a “tipping point” that will be reached when the right sum of people lives the change that needs to happen. And even if we assume that this doesn’t need to be a majority but if we “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has, ” as Margret Mead put it, we’re still advancing the idea that it needs a certain sum of people, and it needs people with high impact and a lot of clout to get us on the right track.

We all know, of course, that the right track needs to include a radical ecological transformation of humankinds’ behavior, and this of necessity entails a radical social transformation. Because as long as it pays to be ecologically irresponsible and exploit human and other living beings, abuse the air and the soil, waste precious common goods, as long as in fact large fortunes can be made that can buy “the most impact people”, even a large sum of people that transform personally is not going to affect a real change in our living world. What needs to transform are communities. Never mind individual change, which might still be great or even necessary, what we really need is the transformation of wholes.

field2I do not wish to criticize my fellow travelers that have, for instance in the US, paved the way for a president that clearly understand the issues we have to deal with. I do not wish to put anybody at fault that is doing their very best to help transition this world to a healthier and more humane era; quite the contrary. I want us to look at the possibilities that emerge when we take a hard look at the question, “How can we help Wholes to transform?”

And, since we hope to provide leadership to support this transformation, we need to also address the question, “How to turn a sum of people from all walks of life in a local community into a Community, a Whole that is more conscious of itself as a Whole?” [I’ll use Community with a capital C to distinguish it from what is ordinarily called a community, which, in a way is a sum of people with partially similar interests, and this is much more a heap than a whole.]

I do not have an answer to these questions, but I do have a few indications what we might want to take into account:

  • A Community is first of all a feeling being and not a doing.
  • A Community is not a goal or a means, it is an emerging and continually self-renewing Whole.
  • A Community is capable of implementing fast, large scale, positive transformation with great ease.
  • A Community is (also) nourished by meaningful conversations about itself.
  • A Community, equipped with state of the art social tools, rapidly expands by inclusion of and being included in other Communities.

Enlightening the Passions – Day 24 (Vulnerable)

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go, we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. — Wendell Berry; Collected Poems

Today I’m in the frail kingdom, the space where you feel raw, as if your soul’s skin is all raw and anything and everything has the tendency to “hurt a little bit”. You’re looking for signs that would indicate which way the wind blows. After all, you went through a co-created hell where the heat was provided by the voluminous breath of your own fear of separation. You couldn’t see anything much, except the dark smoke coming from the cinders of your hopes.
You can see, now that some of the smoke is lifting, that drawing lines can be done without the fire and the brimstone. You accept your own limitations – the pattern of behavior and thinking and feeling that forms your character is now finally more or less OK with you. You come to accept that you’re far from perfect but that, if you keep on adapting to your deeper self, you’ll be as open as you need to be to flow with life, and as clear as needs to be to accept your limitations.

You can’t, no, you would never want to deny again your trans-and-ir-rational nature, your malleable and stubborn character. You have found some center, frail and promising, a space from where you can live an openness that before you had no idea of.
The chaos of your imagination’s darker regions need the balancing force of a brighter imagination to become acceptable in the constellation of what it means to be me,

And then there is the other One. And there is the dynamics between, the uncontrollable and utterly free forces that choose their own path – this is the kernel of vulnerability: that you don’t know what is going to happen. Life-changing forces are afoot and depending on where you are in this constellation, you can open to the other participants in the constellation.
In Hellinger’s vocabulary one of the primary forces in our life and character is the “Hinbewegung”, the “movement towards”; and what troubles us in these constellations is a “Movement toward” that is “broken” – the “unterbrochene Hinbewegung.”

To be vulnerable is to be aware of many of these “movements toward”. In the course of this experiment I have come to be in resonance with many, many of these “unterbrochene Hinbewegungen.” Maybe I’m still a romantic after all (I thought, I wasn’t), but I believe that in close and intimate relationship this one-on-one relationship itself is a “movement toward.” Maybe what I got a taste of recently is the promise of just such a possibility in my life. But the “Hinbewegung” is an utterly free movement – which doesn’t mean that it is not bound to circumstances, but rather that it is free to go with it, be neutral or go against it, but “it” is beyond control.

All day I feel vulnerable.
And I’m moving my attention from going in too deep.
Let me, vulnerable, stay near the surface.

I’m a hero and a coward
While I courageously go, I shiver inside considering possible consequences.
The longing for that space of intimacy with you, with life, with destiny is strong.
I accept that longing.

This longing makes me vulnerable.
Living vulnerable is part of me
Part of the whole.

All day I feel vulnerable.

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)

Weird Insect

Yesterday this strange critter appeared on our balcony’s door. Both my girlfriend and I have never seen such a critter before. It’s antenna seem to grow from its long snout that, maybe, it is using to suck nectar…

Anyway, have a look – and maybe you know…

There is two videos of a minute or so:

links for 2008-06-27 to 2008-07-07

links for 2008-06-16