Relating to Gods

Today, this evening I cried. I cried for all the visions of good people that remain visions; visions that will never walk for lack of feet.

But why would it hurt me so much that I cry? Is it because of all the visions I’ve had, that – on becoming true – didn’t really change anything for anybody? Or is it forf all the visions that haven’t yet come true, and might never become true, and therefor standing in the way of appreciating the complicated and ordinary, not so very visionary life that we all have?

This morning I stayed in bed for a while contemplating the Gods I truly care for. Quite e few times I’ve been almost evangelizing polytheism on this blog, but in truth, there ain’t many images in my mind. So here I am, contemplating how the world and everyone and everything flows forth from the unknowable Gods (some say God). Some, or even many of my friends still maintain it was a kind of Big Bang. Everything exploding out of nothing – creatio ex nihilo (I like to throw some authoritative Latin terms at you; you’ll take what I have to say so much more serious that way).  I prefer creatio ex mysterium and think that creation out of nothing is so unimaginative!

So, back on track: Contemplating how everything flowed forward into timed existence because – being caused – by the Gods. For all I know it could be some kind of coincidence, everything co-incides into existence in some kind of beginning, maybe a continual beginning that hasn’t finished yet.  And contemplating that I realize that my contemplations consist of images, some real forms and flows. So truly, whatever comes to exist for me, comes into being as an image, a form, a flow with recognizable and sometimes mysterious shape, gestalt, form. The mystery always staying just that: mysterious, unfathomable, unknowable ins essence and everything else as well.

That, to me, is the true abode of the Gods: the mystery. Nevertheless, they issue forth in forms and images. Maybe it is they that truly imagine the world: et voilá, here it is. Whatever may be the case, I cannot relate to the unknowable – I only relate to beings and things that have some kind of form, gestalt, shape. Can be a flow that is recognizable, that does manifest a pattern. So lying there I contemplate that out of mystery comes forms and flows, sent, as it were, into being by the Gods, who, in essence are truly mysterious and unfathomable but when the take form, and take form they must for me to relate with them, what exactly is that form for me.

And then I thought tahat maybe that is what we can give to the Gods: form. Maybe that’s why the Gods have created reality as we experience it in  the first place. So that there would be beings, definitely beings with their own imagination and psyche and spirit and more, an imagination that would allow them to give back form to the Gods who gave them existence.  And maybe some of these Gods, at least those that are involved in creating reality and beings within it, actually desire having form – because that way they could actually intimately relate to beings like us.

So for a moment it was as if I saw with the eyes of one of the Gods, and He (sorry girls, but I’m a guy) felt this deep, deep desire to also have a form. Hanging out in formlessness essentially is great but existentially – it’s boring. No restrictions, no creativity, no time, no heart or feeling, just plain pure transcendence and existence, “Iamness” – blissful, sure, and really, “So what?” Anyway, after an eternal eternity or two a desire wells up for “other”, for relating, for surprise, for creativity and that’s what got it all started. At least in my contemplation this morning – which is still much convincing this evening!

So as vague as it still is this morning I’ve started to answer to this Divine Desire to Be by imagining some kind of form to some of the Gods I personally want to relate to. So far there is one Goddess. Sitting on a chair or block she’s having a child on her lap. I think she’s black – most likely influenced by the Black Marias and her worship I’ve been looking into recently. On her lap a small child. A blessing for the world. Innocent, pure, clear, protected, creative. Around her some male Gods. One standing strong, on her right side. A Guardian, a warrior maybe.  On her left a wise old man, Saturn-like, but with some more humor, leaning towards the Jester, the Fool, the Chaotic Support of all that’s creative in this world. I see behind her some more strong forces, but I’ve not been able to identify/create any of them yet.

So how to relate to Gods?
With the knowledge that they love to be given form and then appear as the polymorphic Pantheon that humanity worships – to each as she is capable of co-creating. And then, relating from the heart, from our core-being which was given to us. Relating contemplatively when we call upon the images we have, and opening up through them to the mysterious essence of them, opening up to the breath, their inspiration.

They give us existence to play around with. We give them heartfelt attention and a form – and so we can realte to them and they can exist in our essence which is not different from their essence.

The Challenges of Changing the World

ANP-5605840112Visions of what needs to happen on this planet to make it more of a home to the ever growing human population while at the same time taking care that all the other species can flourish as well abound. The United Nations have identified the 8 most pressing ones and on one of them, “Environmental Sustainability”, the political world is going to decide in Copenhagen what it will do, or wants to do.

There is a lot of leadership on climate issues, and if the information I get on what happens in the USA and Canada as a European residing in Berlin is correct, the competition between this leadership is amazing – everybody struggling for the best pole-position in the race to what is seen by many to be the new gold-mine: Green (Social) Economy. In Europe the competition is not as fierce but the call for leadership is strong. And I must confess that I don’t know much about what happens in South-America. Africa, Asia and Australia. I do know, though, there are at least 1.000.000 (1 Mio) NGO’s and other social responsibility organizations world-wide trying to lead the way. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of leadership…

Moreover there are countless experts and innumerable plans and [full disclosure here] I’m working with wonderful and brilliant people at creating “meshworks” that will help align people, plans and resources. We are well on our way in this endeavor, as soon as we’re ready to open up to the general public you’ll be hearing more from me here, and I expect it to raise our collective intelligence a few notches.

OLY-2008-CHINA-SAILING-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-ALGAEAnd yet, when working on my recent blogs on Resonance & the Living Field, Leadership, Community and Transforming the Whole and How to be? What to do? and this last weekend on a mindmap (a work in progress) The Community as a Whole is More than the Sum of its Parts an insight keeps nagging me that I could maybe sum up like this, “While visions, plans, meshworks and a highly committed leadership are absolutely essential, no clearly stated or compelling vision, no plan, as brilliant as it may be, no sophisticated meshwork aligning everyone and everything and no committed group of leaders are going to make the much needed brighter future a reality unless it is embodied by highly coherent communities that involve innumerable engaged citizens of all color and creed.”

In Leadership, Community and Transforming the Whole I’ve made a strong case, I think, why recruiting or aggregating large numbers of people to world change-movements doesn’t work, no matter how wonderful, powerful, idealistic and committed these people may be. No matter how many people we can recruit for “the cause”, the transformation will not result from ever growing sums of individuals working for change because “A whole is more than the sum of its part(icipant)s.”

a-root-rtt-01-keyThe world is not made up of individuals, as we might be tempted to think, but it’s made up of groups, organizations, parties etc., in short: the world is a community of communities. These are the “wholes” that can foster, embed and realize the transformation that we wish for Earth.
According to Wikipedia, for community there “were ninety-four discrete definitions of the term by the mid-1950s” (here), so it might help to discern between what we will in this blog call “real communities” and “conventional communities.” Conventional communities, even if their goals are aligned with the world change we seek to implement, can at best be fertile ground for highly coherent “real communities”. And because transformative action is always local, customized and unfolding (emergent) and needs to be embodied by those that act the real community already lives the future it wishes to realize for all.

The following is just a preliminary list, that – with your help – will be updated continually to more accurately reflect what we’re learning.

Real communities Conventional communities
Look for possibilities and how to implement them Work on solving problems, cater to needs of its members
Stimulate generosity and hospitality Try to eliminate the causes of what we fear
Continually look to deepen connections and relations, value belonging Need to grow, scale fast; value numbers
Empower and invest in its participants/members and their growth Invests in (and sets out to improve) leadership
Participants/members find areas which they want to be accountable for Set clear(er) goals by using clear processes with measurable milestones
Create space for regenerative conversations Create more controls, measures of effectiveness
Love questions and what they generate Seek the right answers and try to implement them
Thrive through ‘mutual apprenticeship’, trust in self-organization, coordinate action ‘chaordically Hierarchical organisation; depend on leaders, authorities, experts, specialists to “make the plan and show the way”
Encourages authority and responsibility of every participant/member by honoring everyone’s contribution Celebrates it’s leaders and icons, encourages competition
Brings people from the margin to the center to learn, connect more deeply and
regenerate communal strength
Marginalizes people who are not in line with the community’s culture/rules

(With this list I do not in any way wish to show that conventional communities are not needed or at fault, not so! It simply points out that they are not adequate to foster, create or embody the transformation that so many of us feel is absolutely needed if we are to survive in any meaningful way both as human species and as ecologically rich planet.
And what is listed under real community doesn’t make this kind of community right, perfect or “the best.” These are simply some of the characteristics that a resilient, vibrant and deeply meaningful community has, and I believe they’re indispensable for any transformation that deserves to be called such.)


The world I wantProbably the most important characteristics of all communities are its conversations and “vibrancy.”
In a conventional community I cannot reveal much of who I am, and it can therefor not be very coherent, simply because feeling alignment between people depends very much on how much they feel safe to show of themselves and their ‘brokenness’. If ever you were in a group of people where someone opened up and showed some of what keeps her or him awake at night – and others were mature enough to allow that without immediately comforting or fixing or giving good advise etc. – then you know that the depth of a community is directly related to its openness to self-disclosure.

There is much more to say about real community, and I’m sure we will come to that in the next weeks and months, but for now I think we’re looking for a strategy to build the kind of communities that can carry and contain the world change that we all know is at hand – and it’s not clear if we’re going to come out wiser, healthier and thriving or not. My guess is, if we build real communities, we have better chances to come through wonderfully transformed.

Part of this strategy is certainly:

  • Build regenerative social fabric with hospitality, generosity, deep conversations, felt alignment
  • Reframe the crisis as breakdown of community and its restoration/healing
  • Co-creation and enrichment of the “common good”
  • Create time to simply be together and celebrate
  • Understand that community is never a means to an end (even if that is transformation or world change); community is always its own end.

It is my deep conviction that not only do some of these communities already exist but that with just a little nudge many more will spring into being everywhere. So, for now, I’ll leave with this question, How can we/I serve those communities that interconnect and seed “real communities”?

Enlightening the Passions – Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)

Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. — G.K. Chesterton

I think I finally know what the basic vibration of jealousy is: It’s fear, the fear of separation of the one you love most. It’s an utterly irrational fear fed by the demon of distrust, a mind that can easily imagine bleak futures, and – if it’s not pure paranoia because there is no other lover – supporting circumstances. So maybe saying that it’s utterly irrational is not true, since there is a significant connection to reality. It is this fear, this jealousy, that has me confess that for an important part I must declare the experiment a failure. I do not want to allow this fear to “be my guest”. And maybe my resistance, my focus and awareness that went into “being with it” has made it as big as it is now. It’s now easy for me, almost autonomously, to imagine all kinds of disastrous futures in which everything failed and I’m all on my own again. It is somehow much harder, to find the trust to imagine a bright future.

You could say that imagining anything is the real disease, imagining a future even worse. But wouldn’t you then also say that hope is the real disease? Because hope imagines a future, or is the manifestation of the faith in a bright future. Is despair – hope reversed – that comes from images of a bleak, pain-filled future the consequence of a hope gone sour? Maybe so. What I do know is that I cannot stop my imagination from imagining, just as much as I cannot stop my heart from feeling hope or despair, fear or joy, love and beauty. So what can stop me from replacing the images of 2 hells – the fork of choices that I’m facing – with 2 possible bright futures, where both options let me become a more loving, beautiful, joyful, authentic, rich and deep human?

I now see, and it is late at night and I got up to write my blog for this day, I now see that on top of the practice of “unrestricted feeling” I have to practice also “imagining light and bright futures” with all the people that are also in my “despairing visions”.
I now also see how big a part my imagination played in co-creating the utterly challenging situation I find myself in. Never mind how real the base of my imaginations, more and more it served in an escalation of catastrophic feeling. So much so that opening up intimately became more and more difficult. The only possibility in such a situation being the forking of the way, the choice between 2 hells.

Should I respect my limits that have become apparent in a situation that I feel I have been forced into? Even if I have co-created it by imagining 2 hells where I could imagine 2 brighter futures, it feels right to do so. The basic question is, “What are the minimum needs, what are – right or wrong – the basic conditions that are needed so that a much deeper level of relationship is a realistic possibility? And what, if anything, can I do or not do to lift my bit of the weight that needs shifting?”

I’ve, feebly but truly, started to imagine a brighter future instead of 2 hells tonight. At first glance its clear that accompanying the fear of separation is the fear of imagining that as beautiful, for I might make it happen that way, and then (imagining that as bright) I might not have enough energy to not totally break down if it becomes real. And there is the fear of imagining a bright future for the relationship because it might hurt so much more if it doesn’t get a real chance.

Yesterday, for some time, quite some time, I was full of hope – today despair, which I’m responsible for myself by inviting it in around noon letting my fears move me to ask questions that reflected distrust and fear and fueled visions of a dark future. So it’s about time I invite trust, and beauty and brightness to come and visit this guesthouse more frequently!

Addendum: I find that if I set myself out to use my imagination in this way, I can. And the brightest future I can imagine is the one where I say, “I’m so thankful, happy and once more: thankful for you to have gone into the depth of intimate living with me and that we mastered all the challenges on our path together to have this rich, true and peacefully satisfying life.”
I will carry this image into my sleep now…


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)

Future Ecology

A fantastic video showing what we will have done for the environment (at least if you are a citizen of the US) in the the year 2055… and it worked. It really inspired me, and I hope it inspires you as well…

Climate: A Crisis Averted

Me to the Power of Us

A beautiful video illustration a visionary statement by Michel Bauwens which expresses most beautifully the Path I find myself to be on.

“Anyway, this is what the changes are about, augmenting the individual through relationality, with the object of creating common value collectively, through self-aggregation. The whole push of the p2p revolution is to create the infrastructure for this, designing for inclusion, and for convergence of the indiviual and collective interest, through value-conscious design.”
From Our new digital selves and their relational augmentation by Michel Bauwens

Where we live…

I’m on the road right now and it’s only once in a while I have a little time to surf the net a bit.

I felt really blessed when I saw this little video on Urth.tv

Maybe you enjoy it too…

Visioning

Visioning means imagining. At first generally, and then, with increasing specificity, what you really want. That is what you really want. Not what someone else has taught you to want and not what you have learned to settle for. Visioning means taking off all of the constraints of assumed feasibility, of disbelief and past disappointments and letting your mind dwell upon its most noble, treasured, uplifting dreams. Some people, especially young people, engage in visioning with enthusiasm and ease. Some people find the exercise of visioning painful because a glowing picture of what could be makes what is all the more intolerable. Some people would never admit to their visions for fear of being thought impractical or unrealistic. They would find this paragraph uncomfortable to read, if they were willing to read it at all. And some people have been so crushed by their experience of the world that they can only stand to explain why any vision is impossible. Thats fine, they are needed too. Vision does need to be balanced with skepticism. We should say immediately, for the sake of the skeptics, that we do not believe that it is possible for the world to envision its way to a sustainable future. Vision without action is useless, but action without vision does not know where to go or how to go there. Vision is absolutely necessary to guide and motivate action. More than that, vision when widely shared and firmly kept in sight brings into being new systems. We mean that literally. Within the physical limits of space, time, material and energy, visionary human intentions can bring forth not only new information, new behaviour, new knowledge and new technology, but eventually new social institutions, new physical structures and new powers within human beings. A sustainable world can never come into being if it cannot be envisioned. The vision must be built up from the contribution of many people before it is complete and compelling.

Meadows, Donnella H., Dennis L. Meadows and Jrgen Randers

as quoted here

Keeping the Vision

January 2nd 2006 – Talking to the Serenity-Community

Since many years experiments are being conducted in which human beings are trying to influence random number generators. These machines produce thousands of zeros or ones per minute randomly, that means by pure coincidence. It doesn’t mater how many times you run this generator you always get 50% zeros and 50% ones. And this is always the case unless you put a human being in front of it, trying to influence the outcome. Every human can influence the 50/50 output of this random number generator to a greater or lesser degree. This has been proven countless times. Many, many experiments since the eighties have been done at the most reknown universities, the American MIT for instance and the Princeton University, and they have been conducted in Amsterdam, Holland and other places.

Now, one person can sway this chance of 50% a little bit, if I remember rightly by up to 1 percent, which is very significant from a scientific point of view. If you put two people in front of it they sway it up to two or three times as much. But if these people love each other they sway the machine six times as much. I find that very significant – this love-effect! These are utterly reliable scientific data showing what is possible if two loving people together put their energy, power and imagination to influencing a random number generator.

So I ask, “What will happen if we here put this principal to work with the vision of an integral and compassionate culture? … Or are we here at the Serenity-Community not ready for this, yet?” I think we are, and I do believe that in spite of our difficult financial situation at this moment we will manage, but we will not do so if we don’t put our energy, our imagination, our power into influencing our future. You live here expecting some spiritual nourishment, and you can expect to be so nourished, of course — but if you don’t want to be just as a consumer of spiritual goods then you have to sit down and put your energy, imagination, intelligence into that vision of creating an intelligently compassionate culture now. This is the kind of school we are having here at Serenity, an integral school for a different, a true spiritual culture. And this way we make this place attractive for people coming here, a place were you can now already get a taste of the coming intelligently compassionate culture. Not a place of people privatizing, doing their own thing — which is quit fine, I am not against that at all — but most of all a place of intelligent love and loving intelligence. And that means in all moments of life … whenever you have conflicts or tensions between you, you stop for a moment, remember what both of you are up to, that is: you want to realize that vision, that kind of life. And then from there you will find the energy and the intelligence to do so. You put your energy there, put your love there, and put your intelligence there… and realize it this very moment.

This is not an ashram or a monastery with the motto, “ora et labora” (pray & work). We actually never had much labora compared to monasteries anyway, and this has never been a place where you’re suppose to give up your joys and the little private fun you have, not at all. But if you give as much energy to realizing the vision of an intelligently compassionate culture as you are giving to your own private joys right now , we will be an unbeatable force. It’s fine, it’s perfectly all right to want to realize your own goals and have your own happiness — but if you put as much energy in the vision as in realizing your own goals then you will live to see that incredibly beautiful culture.
I have seen the future and I tell you: It is incredible! But I can’t make it a manifest reality on my own. I can be a great teacher, I can be a great energy worker, I can be terrific, my groups are getting better all the time. This I know, people are telling me this quite often now. So I don’t need anybody for doing that, but for realizing this vision I need people and I need you, every single one of you. And I’m happy it’s you, because I love everyone of you. And I don’t only love you, I actually like you as well. Liking is personal, loving is from heart to heart, to heart regardless of the person. So that’s a double plus. And undoubtedly there will be many others as well that we love and like…
Actually we have had a great omen, different kinds of birds flying and playing together, I told you about this experience in the winter seminar. The I Ching has told me much the same, and I’ve seen the future, so it’s all there. The spirit of the times is with it, and the Tao is moving in that direction. Now, this year I hope to open up a few more places to do seminars and events and so on to involve more people and make the vision and possibility known far and wide, hoping, that the seed will fall into fertile ground here and there — this is what I can do. And I am investing everything I have in that, as you well know. So now I want you to look inside your heart and see if that’s what you want too, and if that’s what you want in your heart of hearts, then be courageously joyful and go! Because that’s the way — yes, you will move in the right direction. And if this is not there for you, if it is not your truth, you will also move in the right direction: yours. It will be a private one, and that is just as fine. I do not criticize that at all. Who am I to know what life wants you to be and do? But then this place, Serenity, is not the place for realizing that; you might want to consider finding a more suitable place for realizing your own private goals.

So this year is the year of manifestation for Serenity or it will be the year when Serenity comes to an end. We will see which it is. Don’t worry about it, because if you act from worry or fear, you might help a little bit, but it doesn’t amount to much; you will loose your energy and power that way. So don’t worry about it, don’t be fearful about it. Move from the truth; look in your heart and find it there, and then move from there.
There is a Bible verse where it says about Jesus’ disciples: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” This doesn’t mean they were chosen by Jesus, they rather chose them selves. So this vision I am having is calling many people. It is attracting many people, but only those that choose them selves to realize it, to co-create it, they are the chosen ones. They are the ones that build the nest for the vision to come true, and those are the people I am interested in. I want to teach, I want to relate, and I want to give everything to them, to people that choose themselves. And I am sure we will get all the help we need from as yet totally unknown quarters. But it will never come if we are not moving with our heart and intelligence in the direction we believe in.

And you will notice that on that way there is already a lot of happiness for you personally, because if you are moving in the direction that comes from the heart, then every movement gives you happiness right now. You might fail, but the moving in that direction gives you happiness, and that counts much more. So don’t worry about it, just move in the right direction, step by step, day by day, moment by moment, whenever you remember. And if you don’t remember and you remember later, don’t worry about forgetting sometimes.

Well, that’s how creation came into being, God forgot himself, herself, and here you are. So don’t worry about that.