Sharif is one of our favorite people and he coined one of our favorite terms: "a world that works for all." I first encountered him via an email of the delightful and profound "A Moment for Wisdom" meditation he offers regularly to the world. A Moment for Wisdom has been focused on #Occupy for a couple of weeks now, ever since Sharif began participating in Occupy Portland.

Here is a mash-up of two of his postings from A Moment for Wisdom that a local paper ran there recently ran:

This I Believe

My old friend, Native American activist Calvin Hecocta, called me up and asked me to come to Occupy Portland. Since this was the second phone call that I’ve gotten from him in 10 years, I thought I’d better pay attention.

I have long been an advocate for a visionary, inclusive transformation of society. I have been calling for such a transformation for decades, based on our values and on a clear vision of a positive future for all beings.

As I told Calvin, I’ve been following the Occupy Together (OT) movement in the alternative press, and I have not yet seen a vision emerge. Even more than that, I have not heard people talking about the spirit that must be an integral part of any real change. We must transform this society — not because we’re angry at corporate greed, but because that’s what it will take to save the Earth and save our souls. The Earth is sacred, corporations are not.

I said all this to Calvin. After a pause, he said, “Well, if you come, the vision and the spirit will be there.” Pretty hard to argue with his logic.

So I went to Occupy Portland not because I’m angry or frustrated — I’m not. I went to share a vision: A society where people dismantle the toxic systems and structures by imagining and creating brand new ones, where we roll up our sleeves and do the hard work and heavy lifting of creating a world that works for all beings.

I went for another reason: To bear witness that there is a new society waiting to be born. Whether it’s OT or some other manifestation, the new society is not only necessary — it's inevitable.

I’ve learned a lot about this phenomenon, from participating in Occupy Portland to speaking at Occupy LA. In my speech on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, I mentioned several times the necessity for vision.

Some listeners thought I was calling for goals or demands. I was not.

Visions and goals are different — understanding this is absolutely critical to the continued existence of OT. This is not the time for the OT forces to develop a “12-point platform.” That comes much later, after a coherent vision has emerged. However, the development of vision is both timely and important.

In the search for vision, the vision voyagers must get out of their heads and into their hearts. Vision is a function of spirit — it comes when the mind and heart are at rest, focused on the largest, most positive and most inclusive future.

I am encouraged by the willingness of the OT forces to release the existing forms and structures of political discourse. There is one truth that the OT folks have understood very well: We have little experience in the practice of democracy in this country. Our political institutions give us almost no experience in democracy. Pulling a lever for prepackaged candidates is the antithesis of democracy.

We’ve got to be willing to make this up as we go along, creating, modifying (and discarding when appropriate) new systems and structures — for economics, for politics, for all of the elements that make up a society.

And, along with releasing existing forms and structures of politics, the Occupiers must also let go of the theories of capitalism (it’s dying), communism (it’s dead) and any other theory that was formulated by men long dead and buried.

This is an essential truth:

We are smart enough to figure out how to get ourselves out of this hole we’re in. And we don’t need anyone’s permission in order to think big.

— Dr. Sharif Abdullah



____________________________
Dr. Sharif Abdullah
COMMONWAY INSTITUTE
P. O. Box 12541
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 281-1667

Click here for Dr. Sharif Abdullah's Page on Facebook

Visit "Commonway Praxis":  The Praxis is Emerging

Visit the Commonway website -- www.commonway.org


 

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Dear Sharif and friends,

I agree with and appreciate every thing you say except for one paragraph, which is "Visions and goals are different — understanding this is absolutely critical to the continued existence of OT. This is not the time for the OT forces to develop a “12-point platform.” That comes much later, after a coherent vision has emerged. However, the development of vision is both timely and important."

Yes, vision and goals are different and it is critical that we develop a coherent vision; however that is no reason for us to wait to begin to develop some type of a political/action platform. Some of us have been developing Vision and Values orientations for years, along with political/action orientations. Of course our goals need to be based on a vision and values; but this can develop at the same time as we discuss and share varying opinions on a political/action agenda/platform. Really the two go together and support one another. 

Please, those of you that are most interested in focusing on vision, values, and opening a generative conversation, etc recognize that others of us are primarily interested in developing an as effective a political action campaign as we can. And that this is equally important and relevant. Let us do both at the same time. Both have been lacking and are urgently and fully needed. 

Rob Wheeler

Rob -- Thanks for your thoughtful comment.  Here's my response:

When I was at the "Occupy Portland" march, I saw three signs: "Reform the Fed", "End the Fed" and "Smash Capitalism".  These three sentiments were very heart-felt, very passionate, and MUTUALLY CONTRADICTORY AND CONFLICTING.  You cannot do these three things.

Let's say that a group of 100 people divides itself into 3, each part working toward one of these goals.  This means that, at any given point in time, the majority of the group is working against you.  This is like putting equally powerful propellers at each end of a ship, and expecting it to get anywhere.

This is why I say "vision comes first".  The currently painful process of consensus in the GA's is a function of the lack of a coherent, unifying vision. 

Some time ago, I watched as a colony of ants worked to get a huge dead wasp down a really small ant hole.  It took a long time.  Part of the group thought it should go down head first, the other thought it should go down butt first.  They spent a LOT of time spinning the wasp around and around.  Some started biting off legs and antenna, taking them down, until all of them realized it wasn't going to fit as one piece, dismembered it and took it down in stages.

In that sloppy process, the ants were united in a single vision: "Get the wasp down the hole".  Their confusion (and trial and error) came in HOW to achieve that vision -- goals, strategies and tactics.  They achieved the vision, and I'll bet they learned what to do with the next dead wasp they found.

Now, imagine if half the ants had a different goal: "Keep dead wasps out of the colony".  Instead of the "head group" and the "butt group", there was the "pull the wasp away from the hole" group.  How frustrated would the group be without a unifying vision?

Rob, you say that you are "...primarily interested in developing an as effective a political action campaign as we can".  Great.  What does that mean?  If you are talking about developing new, inclusive political tools and techniques, I'm right there with you... that will help "create a world that works for all".  If you are talking about creating "third party" activity within the existing system, I'm a lot less interested, but I'll still listen to you.  If you are talking about supporting, demanding, reforming existing legislation-- I'm not hardly interested. 

Identifying vision, FIRST, determines whether our struggle is uphill or downhill...

Peace,

 

Sharif

[PS: Your comment is really important... I'd like to re-post this onto the appropriate"Moment for Wisdom", along with my reply.  http://www.praxis.commonway.org/2011/10/16/vision-01/]

 

 

 

 

Dear Sharif,

Yes, please feel free to forward and/or post our exchange wherever you would like; and thank you for your participation on Occupy Cafe. Here then is my response to yours. Here is the problem with waiting until we have a shared vision to take action on specific issues. The three people saying "Reform the Fed", "End the Fed" and "Smash Capitalism" may never agree on a vision, much less a common strategy, during their whole life time no matter what happens. And it can be just as difficult to develop a common or shared platform as a vision, no matter how much time one spends of the vision, thus the need for us to begin focusing on this as well.

Of course we should focus on building a common or shared vision though, on really listening to and hearing each other, etc. But it may not bring us all that much closer to agreement on strategy, goals, and orientation than we are already anyway -- though hopefully it will. 

Still, one of the good things from doing this (focusing on vision), is that it will help us to understand each other better, along with our differences, and thus build greater appreciation and acceptance of different ways of seeing the world. For example, my partner works on tax policies. She is convinced that she has the policy approach and strategy that will save the world. I am convinced that she has an answer that will significantly help to save the world but that it is not enough, and cannot be passed or adopted anyway unless many other things are achieved at the same time. 

But we have argued and discussed this difference in orientation time and again. We share a pretty similar vision, goals, orientation, etc but we will probably never agree on this one difference. Such is life. No problem, as long as we can respect our differences and mutually support the differences in our strategic and philosophical orientations. 

Similarly, she believes a lot more than me in decentralized local action and organizing. I am interested in how we can take action to shift things moreso at the national and global level. As long as neither of us tries to make the other one wrong, then there is no problem with this. It would not matter how much effort we put into developing a shared vision or spiritual connection etc. We will probably never agree on this. It is just a difference in who we are and our role in what we came here to focus on during this life and time on earth. 

If you are not interested in "supporting, demanding, reforming existing legislation" then there is no problem with that. We can't all be interested in all of the same things anyway; and your work on Vision is too important anyhow. Just please don't tell us that others of us shouldn't focus on "supporting, demanding, and reforming existing legislation" until we have developed a common vision first. Instead help us develop as common or shared a vision as we can while we go ahead and try to figure out how we can best support, demand, or reform existing and new legislation. 

It is primarily the strategies and tactics where most of us that are united in a particular organizing effort differ any way and not the vision. Though the differences in strategies and tactics definitely relate to the specific vision that each of us holds as well. 

Hope this helps; and again thank you for all that you are doing and bring to the table. I look forward to having a conversation with you in regards to developing a common or shared vision as well. 

And I would be particularly interested in how we can develop a shared vision of a Sustainable America that includes both the left and the right, conservatives and liberals or progressives. This is a challenge that we definitely need to figure out how to do, though it may be difficult because many conservatives seem to deny the importance of focusing on creating a sustainable society anyway. They are just not concerned about or don't recognize the problems that others of us see. 

Rob Wheeler

 

Got it!  I like corresponding with people with clarity and without an axe to grind...

Before I respond, could you address the central premise of my "3 signs" challenge: that mutually contradictory and conflicting goals creates frustration and wasted energy.

Then, I'll respond to the whole thing.  (I'm writing inside a lull in my action, which may "heat up" soon!)

S.

 

Thanks for your first comment. And yes, mutually contradictory and conflicting goals can create frustration and wasted energy; but it is also somewhat inevitable and will exist whether we are all working cooperatively together or not. Of course it will help if we understand that we are coming from different visions and philosophical beliefs, but still may or may not help to be able to resolve things. 

I do not know that it is a problem that we sometimes pull against each other if we are still trying to achieve the same overall thing. Different efforts attract different people; and we need to do our best to reconcile all viewpoints if possible while still being willing to act when we cannot.

Also, things that seem contradictory can sometimes be just what is needed to cause change - unwittingly. For years I was active in the anti-nuclear movement. I decried those that were argumentatively vehement and accusatory, until I noticed that sometimes that was just what was needed to force other people to have to deal with a problem they preferred to ignore. So, on one hand non-violence and semi-violent confrontation would seem to contradict and oppose each other; but on the other hand may be what is finally needed to shift a situation. 

So, I continue to work for cooperation and constructive agreement and engagement where possible, while accepting that something else may be what is finally needed. 

Weird huh?

Rob

(Jitendra here-forgot I had my admin hat on when I inserted this post)

Hi Rob...Sharif...

Just passing through here and couldn't resist tossing a penny in the pot.  You know me Rob, I'm tipped toward Sharif in attuning vision, to the extent that individuals can attune.  The reason, I feel, this conversation will often land in respectful and loving disagreement, is that the primary element, SPIRIT, is compromised in our experience.  In the overwhelming majority of human experience.  

We — humanity — I will risk saying each of you and me, are further than we often like to admit from TRUSTING spirit.  Not with our heads and minds or even hearts, but in the depths of our cells.  We are striving for a connection that we remember in a depth of latent resource, at a most existencial and primal level.  

Because we lack this connection, we see our visions through a disjointed body that skews perception into fragments struggling to find a mate with other fragments.  From this realization you are completely in your right mind, Rob, to assume that there will always be discord in vision and therefore not expect much accord.  It is the status quo.  It's the current aged paradigm that is dying in and of its own time.  Its very nature is speeding its own demise.

It appears to me, you are each describing different modes of vision.  

A vision without connection to one's greater Source, perhaps driven by fear, resentment, disempowered enthusiasm (rebelliousness) or some version of sublimated shadow can never, without modification or transformation, achieve its ultimate goal.  

A Vision sourced in connection to a Loving Presence that recognizes the already inherent connection of all things has already succeeded, but for the process of actions over time, a gestation of chaotic events that emergently and inexplicably bloom a harmonious actualization. 

It's the unmanageable and oft-resisted progress of Spirit that is the wrench in the wheel, the fly in the ointment, the relentless rub.  There are but a few exceptional cultures on this planet that seem to understand, or even tolerate, the unwieldy process of Spirit alignment before planning or building anything.  I forget more often than not, and I think I'm a wise guy.

What I hear echoing in Sharif's words is a call to remember, or at least attempt, or begin to attempt, to open to the larger dimension of us all from which unity of vision can't help but emerge.

It's tough when we feel we're out of time.  

We each have to do what we have to do the way we feel it needs to be done.  Somehow, it's all going to work out anyway.  Cause Spirit is the biggest fish in the sea that has swallowed us all.

Some say it's the sea, too.

Gotta go. I'm late....;-)

Wow... My sentiments, said better than I could say...

Amen to all that, and let me give you a little story.  I once led a group in a weekend workshop.  I had asked the 60 people to bring an item for a group altar.  At the end of the workshop, the question was: what to do with the items? 

All of them started giving their opinions and ideas.  Give everything back.  Make a medicine bundle and bury it.  Make a medicine bundle and burn it.  Make a medicine bundle and keep it. Give it to me. Throw it all in a dumpster...

I suggested that we all sit for 10 minutes in silence.  During that time, they were to push aside their own ideas and thoughts, and listen for another Voice, the Voice of Spirit to guide them.  It was not about having an idea, but about accessing Spirit.

After 10 minutes, I brought them back.  One person said, "I just had the intuition to give the bundle to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the elders in our group."  Surprise lit up on virtually everyone's face: all of them had the same idea!

Except Mr. Smith, who was slowly shaking his head.  "I didn't get that.  What I got was that we should give it to HER (indicating his wife)."

There was silence in the room.  Mrs. Smith said slowly, "That's interesting.  What I got was that you all should give the bundle to ME. I wasn't going to say anything, because that sounded egotistical to me."

Sixty people, complete unanimity of thought, ten minutes (okay, we were together for the whole weekend...)  I think arriving at consensus is that easy... once we know how to set aside our own thoughts, fears, wants, needs... and focus ourselves on the Spirit/Souce.

I have direct experience in leading people through very differing political and cultural landscapes to arrive at powerful consensus... (Anglos/Latinos; rich/poor; urban/rural; legal/undocumented; powerful/powerless...) The trick is to get them "out of their heads".  It all revolves around the questions that you ask...

Of course, one of the most difficult aspects of this is that "spirit" gets all clogged up and conflated with "religion", so that people cannot just let go and experience it. 

Peace,

 

Sharif

 

 

Rob Wheeler seems to appreciate the power of confrontation to shift things off balance such that they may achieve forward motion. As an experiential educator and wilderness guide, that was my modus operandi. So let me offer him this gift. 

Occupy Cafe Admin (does s/he have a name?) suggests that Rob and Sharif are "are each describing different modes of vision". I suggest that, while Sharif is proposing a true collective visioning process, Rob is stuck in pragmatic goals and their complementary strategies and objectives. In other words, Rob cannot see the forest for the trees. He lacks vision. 

With all due respect for "Occupy Cafe Admin", there is no need to invoke "Spirit" or "Loving Presence" – terms and notions which are off-putting to so many good-hearted activists. Nature, itself, offers us the template. 

Rob wishes for a "Sustainable America that includes both the left and the right, conservatives and liberals or progressives" and bemoans that "many conservatives seem to deny the importance of focusing on creating a sustainable society anyway. They are just not concerned about or don't recognize the problems that others of us see."  How very self-inflating! People of any and every political persuasion truly want the same basic things: a healthy and secure and satisfying future for themselves and their families. Conservatives today tend to focus closer to home and family, while liberals are willing to encompass the needs of others in a broader circle – while being every bit as individualistic as those on the right, and sometimes moreso. 

As long as we continue to experience ourselves as a "skin-encapsulated ego" (Alan Watts), none of us truly has the big picture of a sustainable world. 

Parable: most people – even most biologists – believe that the largest organism on earth is the 110-foot-long, 200-ton blue whale, or perhaps the General Sherman tree, a Giant Sequoia that stands 275 feet tall and with a trunk alone estimated to weigh more than 2,000 tons. But, in the 1970s, a Quaking Aspen tree nicknamed Pando (Latin for "I spread") was found that covers 107 acres of a Utah mountainside and weighs more than 6,000 tons, composed of genetically identical stems connected by a single underground root system, estimated to be 80,000 years of age, which came from an original parent tree.  

And in 2003 the USFS in Oregon published their discovery of the current behemoth 2,384-acre Armillaria ostoyae fungus in Oregon's Blue Mountains, which could be as ancient as 8,650 years and be the largest (in area) organism on earth. There are also communities of many different organisms that function as a single superorganism, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, stretching 1250 miles. 

The discovery of these organisms rekindled the debate of what constitutes an individual. The latest understanding is that "It's one set of genetically identical cells that are in communication with one another that have a sort of common purpose or at least can coordinate themselves to do something." Does that sound a lot like the @OWS movement? Perhaps we'll soon expand that to encompass genetically heterogenous superorganisms and ultimately – the Gaia Theory – the entire planet, including biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere. We also know, from the new field of epigenetics, that the expression of our DNA – the blueprint of individualism – is determined by our environment. There is no separate "I" inside this bag of skin. We are, quite literally, all of a piece and all in this together. 

Lesson: We are facing multiple intersecting global crises because our vision (literally, our perception) is far too limited. What is needed to pass through these crises (opportunities for a shift, gateway to a new field of vision) is to get out of our heads and back to our senses. A vision is both the field of perception and the roadmap we create from that perceptual terrain. Sure, we can continue to stumble along without a map, or with many conflicting maps. But if we want to move, en masse, into a new story for humanity within this amazing Web-of-Life, then we must seek a common road map, based on a shared perceptual field – a common vision. And, to do that, requires that we "don't just do something, but stand there". We have a habit of wanting – needing – to act, to move, even when we aren't sure, or can't agree upon, where we're heading. There is an ancient Chinese aphorism (or was it Yogi Berra): "If you don't know where you're going, you're likely to end up there". The updated corollary is "If you don't know where you're going or how to do it, speed is important because you want to get there fast." (David Epstein, owner Java Net Café). 

When things feel most pressing, when it seems "the end is near" and we just don't have time to waste in endless contemplation and group process – it's just then when we most need to take a deep breath and learn to see before we run. Often, all that is required is that we shut off our minds and open our eyes. 

 

Excellent examples, excellent comments.  Excellent image.  Excellent beard...

Yes, it is the "Web of Life" that will make it through these times, not "humans" maintaining our delusions of individuation.  All of our science (ALL of it) is based on this "Breaker" notion of "I am separate".  We look at phylum, genus, species... galaxy, cluster, star, planet... past, present, future... "my" consciousness, "your" consciousness.

Well, the good news is that we'll soon heal ourselves from this delusion... one way or another.

Peace,

Sharif

 

 

Dear Friends - Sharif, Jitendra, Robert, and all,

First of all, we should probably be having this conversation in a new Discussion Forum focusing on whether what the OWS movement most needs now is either a process to develop a unifying vision and/or the development of some type of an educational/advocacy and action campaign. If someone wants to create this before I get to it, then we can move all of this discussion over there. Perhaps Jitendra knows how to do this in a "clean" manner. 

Now in regards to the value of the first - organizing a process to develop a unifying vision - I am all for this. I would totally support a couple of you reaching out to the "occupiers" and inviting them to do this with us or you. And I totally support the idea that this could and should include and be based on connecting with spirit, though there may be some occupiers that will completely reject this notion and tell you that you/we are imposing your beliefs on them. But so be it; no problem. They can choose to participate or not. 

By the way, I participated in a call last week with organizers and occupiers from maybe 60 or 80 occupations; and such calls will continue to be organized. So not only could you/we develop and promote a Visioning Process through and in conjunction with Occupy Cafe; but we can also try to offer it through the National Movement Building call process if some of you want to organize it. 

So, for the record, I totally support this. To the extent that we can develop such an underlying spirit based unifying vision, and direction, etc. so much the better. I just think it is a tall order and may not be all that easy to do and there may be many occupiers that are just as interested or more interested in trying to organize some kind of action/advocacy platform and campaign at the same time or instead. It is what they or we are here on earth to do. So, while we or at least I can support and am more than willing to participate in visioning/spirit connecting processes; I remain drawn to work on the development of action/advocacy campaigns. Which is not so strange - you can see this easily in my astrological chart. It is who I am. 

So, spirit tells you -- focus on visioning and connecting first. Spirit meanwhile tells me don't forget the action/advocacy campaign. If you don't get started on this now, you'll never get to it. Everyone is not going to emerge/connect with spirit/develop a unified vision at the same time anyway.

So there you have it; spirit with two different messages for two different people. 

It may very well be that we will soon find ourselves much more connected with spirit or not. We may go into some type of ascension or new dimension of experience; or again, not. Sometimes it is hard for me to realize that the year 2000 was ten years ago. I sort of had the idea that things would really change before then; but they still have not. So, while I like the idea that we can manifest whatever we want right in the moment, in the here and now; and just have to connect with spirit and grow into this; I am willing to wait and see what emerges. And in the meantime I will try to go where I am guided and directed both by spirit, intuition, and my own sense of what is right and makes sense to me. 

And now rather than me lacking vision, I would suggest that Robert Riversong (I love that name by the way, it is beautiful) is not fully hearing or getting what I am saying. Personally, I believe that while we are all one and the same, integrally connected with and part of the whole, we still have our own differentiated experiences, realities and sense of who we are and what is important. We still have our own roles to play and gifts to offer. So while visioning and connecting are all important to some of us; other things are to others -- and we can still be totally connected with spirit. -- or again, not!! 

So, yes, we are certainly facing "multiple intersecting global crises because our vision (literally, our perception) is far too limited." No question about this; so please keep focusing on this. But in the meantime just don't tell the rest of us that this is all that we should be doing for now. We are not going to all agree with you anyway - no matter what spirit says.

And yes, "When things feel most pressing, when it seems "the end is near" and we just don't have time to waste in endless contemplation and group process – it's just then when we most need to take a deep breath and learn to see before we run." But then after we take that one deep breath and can see where we're going, we better run like hell because the house is already on fire and if we don't get out before the smoke is too thick we won't be able to breathe any more at all. Doesn't matter if we all get the vision and connection with spirit part right or not. We will still be sitting in a burning house waiting for the others to join us in developing a unified vision while they are busy instead getting out of the burning house. -- metaphorically speaking. 

And no, I am not trying to be argumentative or confrontational. Just to state the truth as I see it. So until later my friends,

Robineagle

Rob Wheeler

Rob, I agree with you.  Sorry I can't be more eloquent... battling stomach flu...

 

Sharif  (perhaps more later...)

Dear Sharif -- Dear Everyone --

Thanks for this conversation.  Ben R sent me a link to it, and I spent a lot time yesterday looking at it carefully.  Like Ben, I thought it was important, and well-expressed, and during intervals while taxiing my friend around L.A., I put all these messages into a Word document, wrote a lot of commentary and responsive dialogue, and thought about whether it might/should be possible to approach this task in a systematic way.

Yes, I agree with Sharif and others -- that "spirit" drives and inspires the vision -- that we need that quiet open calmness, that surrender, that listening grace, that opens the path to powerful inspiration.  But I also agree with Rob, where he writes above, that vision or no vision, when the house is on fire we gotta get moving...

I guess for me, it's a "both/and" kind of thing.  We need vision AND specific action agendas.

And I am very attracted to the idea that some kind of collective listening grace can lead to shared vision.

But -- my rational brain tends to kick in -- and remind me of what seems to be the overwhelming complexity and detail and vast flood of contending specifics from which any such vision would have to be synthesized.

These are huge questions, vastly complicated, and they have been around a long time.  I don't doubt that eloquent heart-centered leadership can take us a long ways -- but for me, it simply remains clear -- perhaps painfully clear -- that this process involves weaving wholeness from the parts.  It's an "e pluribus unum" -- "out of many, one".  And the sheer list of the parts -- the many -- is a big list.  There's a zillion parts, and no obvious way to fit them together -- and unlike a jigsaw puzzle, no big picture to guide what we're doing...

Rob says:

So, yes, we are certainly facing "multiple intersecting global crises because our vision (literally, our perception) is far too limited." No question about this; so please keep focusing on this. But in the meantime just don't tell the rest of us that this is all that we should be doing for now. We are not going to all agree with you anyway - no matter what spirit says.

This first point, for me -- is a critically important one.  The sheer raw number of simultaneous factors we are facing today -- is massive.  My own point of view on this is shaped by claims from cognitive psychology -- that simply assert that in specific terms, nobody -- nobody -- can even begin to hold all these factors in their brain.  We not only face "interlocking critical crises" -- like climate change and economics and congressional gridlock -- and hundreds of other things we could link in here -- but we don't even have a shared framework to consider the problem.

But my instinct -- is to agree with Sharif -- that profound change -- and maybe even a "fix" -- might be, as Sharif says, "inevitable".  Not only needed and demanded -- but inevitable.

So, ok, I am a utopian dreamer.  But I believe in life, and a successful human future, and I just don't see -- that a continuing patch-work of badly interconnected and semi-conflicting ad hoc initiatives is going to get us through this, no matter how well intended.  Yes, you are right, Rob -- the odds for this new approach ain't great, and this ad hoc thing IS the way we always did it, and maybe always will be.  But I think Sharif might say that oh sure, keep doing it that way and the planet will go extinct...

I think we gotta conceive this situation in wholeness.  We gotta see the big picture -- maybe the biggest picture -- maybe "the picture that contains all other pictures" -- and start an activist weaving process contained within and guided by the wholeness of that biggest containing framework.

So, yes -- this is kinda "absolutely top-down".  "God declares it by fiat."  Let there be wholeness, and let these lovely people figure out what they are doing to do within this framework...

This has been a good conversation, and maybe it will continue someplace, or some new energies will emerge.  Just for illustration, I wanted to paste in this screen shot of an article by visionary activist Vimala Thakar, on "Awakening to Total Revolution".  Sharif, I would guess this is up your line.  The entire article is still available on the "What is Enlightenment" (or "EnlightenNext) web site. 

This entire issue of that magazine is rich with thoughts on these themes -- their dedicated issue on "Can enlightenment save the world?"

http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j19/

Take a look at that for a bunch of highly pertinent resources.

As regards the question, "What are we gonna do?" -- I think I'm with Rob.  We gotta do something.  Breath deep, stay calm, be spiritual, say your mantras, make your atonement, love and respect your brothers and sisters -- then get some very cool high-powered new tools and methods for dealing with massive complexity and diversity -- and by the grace -- get it done...

 

Vimala Thakar - Awakening to Total Revolution

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Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

"Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street ... thoughts on Year One"

Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group
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Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012

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