An open space for global conversation
"If we're talking about true change, there's always this period of mystery--this period of not knowing." Peggy Hollman, 12/19 Vital Conversation
Dig into this emergent space with us, as we consider what it is we want to create together that would make the difference and what we can create together that we cannot create alone.
Please join the Cafe Call this Monday:
8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT
This is our second conversation based on the model developed by Peter Block in Community: The Structure of Belonging, building on the "Dissent" conversation we hosted last month. Once again, we are delighted to have co-hosts Eric and Elaine Hansen, who have worked extensively with Block and are masters of this form.
As always, we also invite you to begin the conversation right now on this forum, and to continue it here once our call is complete. We can start with this:
Think of a time when you had a really exciting conversation about what might be possible. How did it feel? What is the distinction for you between talking about "possibility" and "problem solving?"
Image courtesy of Irish Arts Blog
Here are some excerpts from Peter Block's Community: the Structure of Belonging about the "Possibility Conversation:"
Possibility occurs as a declaration, and declaring a possibility wholeheartedly
can, in fact, be the transformation. The leadership task is to postpone
problem solving and stay focused on possibility until it is spoken with
resonance and passion. The good news is that once we have fully declared
a possibility, it works on us—we do not have to work on it...
The Distinctions for the Possibility Conversation
The challenge with possibility is it gets confused with goals, prediction,
and optimism. Possibility is not about what we plan to happen, or what we
think will happen, or whether things will get better. Goals, prediction, and
optimism don’t create anything; they just might make things a little better
and cheer us up in the process. Nor is possibility simply a dream. Dreaming
leaves us bystanders or observers of our lives. Possibility creates something
new. It is a declaration of a future that has the quality of being and aliveness
that we choose to live into. It is framed as a declaration of the world that I
want to inhabit. It is a statement of who I am that transcends our history,
our story, our usual demographics. The power is in the act of declaring.
The distinction between possibility and problem solving is worth dwelling
on for a moment. As I have said, surely too many times, we traditionally
start with problem solving and talk about goals, targets, resources, and how
to persuade others. Even the creation of a vision is part of the problemsolving
mentality. A vision is something we must wait for to realize and is
most often followed by an effort to make it concrete and practical. Even a
vision, which is a more imaginative form of problem solving, needs to be
postponed and replaced with possibility. The future is created through a
declaration of what is the possibility we stand for. Out of this declaration,
each time we enter a room, the possibility enters with us.
The communal possibility comes into being through individual public
declarations of possibility. Much the same as witnessing in religious gatherings.
Though every possibility begins as an individual declaration, it gains
power and impacts community when made public. The community possibility
is not the aggregation of individual possibilities. Nor is it a negotiation or
agreement on common possibility. The communal possibility is that space
or porous container where a collective exists for the realization of all the possibilities
of its members. This is the real meaning of a restorative community.
It is that place where all possibilities can come alive, and they come alive at
the moment they are announced. pp.124-126
I offer an additional reflection to build upon new possibilities as an observer observing conversations distinguishing talking with no direct intentional value or commitment, conversation for possibilities (conversations for possible possibilities), and conversations for actions. The reflection was articulated in a monograph entitled "Invitational Consultant" in 2002. The foundations of this learning process is grounded in autopoiese (self empowerment in constitution of our biology of love) of Maturana and Verela, and the distinctions of communicative competency formulated by Fernando Flores in a new jurist prudence in management and science. I assess it resonates with Peter Block's work of communal possibilities and instead of analysis of "problem solving" as a distinction it refocuses and reframes appreciative inquire and dialog to breakdowns in a specific domain of human concerns and offers a pathway to building competence in thinking, actions and becoming designer's of the intentional world we seek to create.
Finally an observation from yesterday's call is the call had a specific domain of appreciate inquire to harness the collective conversation "In the Occupy Cafe What's Is Possible NOW." I submit that is an autopoietic boundary that conserves the domain, value and contextual exchanges being offered by participants. And is an innovation in the Cafe where strategic alliances are created, invented, and developed in your specific endeavor. I heard yesterday in the assessments offered that the notion of wisdom in appreciate conversations is missing and a possibility now happening! Thanks Latter Mushin
“All doing is knowing and all knowing is doing.” “Everything said is said by someone.”
Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela
Living systems are closed systems and all of our thinking, feeling and doing reflects our internal structure responding to and activated by our environment, the medium surrounding us. Living is simply a reflection of our structure within a medium or environment. This is true for bacteria and all life and it is true for you because you are biological. The way to deal with this simple biological truth, right now, is not to try to refute it or totally understand it. Just dwell in it as a question that needs care, nurturing and feeding. Could this be so? External triggers in our environment or medium activate our internal responses; it pushes our buttons like a machine. When you think about your life what do you see for yourself? Whatever it is, arises from and lives within your structure and is triggered by events in your life. The environment or medium releases, or calls forth, a behavior, but does not determine them.
Perception (seeing) does not involve taking in an event or thing; analyzing or trying to understand it (knowing); and then acting accordingly. Rather, perception and knowing are not representations of reality; they are a reflection in action of what you as a mechanism see, understand, or do. In short, perception is structurally determined.
Imagine for a moment that you are a fifteenth century Italian. If you stood on a beach in Genoa and watched a sailboat adventurously sail off into the distance, getting smaller and smaller, what would happen? If you had a friend on the boat, you’d panic because you’d perceive that the boat would fall off the edge of the earth and your friend would perish. Your perception is real enough for you, as your sweaty palms would indicate. What you wouldn’t see is that your common sense of the time embodied in your structure. Your structure would act consistent with your beliefs.
A modern example reinforces the point. Do you love to watch sunsets? I do. Poems, songs, romance, and peaceful endings to summer days of joy – all of this comes up for me at sunset. The only problem with this is that for four hundred years we have known that the sun does not set. It stays where it is, the earth turns. Yet the next time you see a sunset, I guaranteed that you will see it set. Your old romantic structure tells you so.
If you want to change yourself, you have to change your structurally determined responses, not alter your environment. Our tendencies to blame others or play the victim are threatened. If your responses are determined by your structure, and if your structure is developed in your past, then at any given moment you are doing only and exactly what your past allows. This gives a biological basis for compassion and respect for others and myself. We are not destined to repeat our history, we chose to, by what we say.
Learning “Speculation to Action”
First, consider these three types of "conversation types”:
Type 1: Conversations for Possibilities (speculation) or Conversations for Possible Conversations
Type 2: Conversations for Action (requests, promises, offers, questions)
Type 3: Conversations about the Weather (non-directed, casual conversation)
Try thinking of a conversation that is not one of these types! I think you
will find that all yakking boils down to these three main categories. An Invitational Consultant is observing the type of conversation taking place in conversation. This is a useful starting point for getting a big picture, an overview, of the conversation occurring. Its usefulness is that if everyone in the conversation knows which "kind" of conversation they are having the conversation is more productive.
Lets look at a Type 1 Conversation for Possibilities closer....
If we reflect a little bit about "speculation conversation" (Conversation for Possibilities) its possible to come up with several possible subcategories as follows:
step 1--brainstorming: everyone inputs ideas without regard to whether
the ideas are good or bad; this is used in executive sessions to "think out
of the box"
step 2--tentative suggestions: this is where people take the brainstorming
list and start to look for what might really be viable
step 3--building consensus: this is where the final list of possible
actions gets narrowed; "pick the "winners"
step 4--planning for action: the decision is made about "what to do", now
its about how we do it.
NOW: if all went well above, then the conversation can go from type 1 to
type 2, where the team starts making requests of each other and/or make offers
(promises) to take certain actions to "get done" with what they decided to do in the
”speculation” Conversation for Possibilities. Nothing magical about this, any executive visioning session implicitly uses this, though they may not articulate it as such. This is a first step, handy model, for the Invitational Consultant to use in general orientation, and
I have never seen an "exception to the rule".
The Invitational Consultant is an observer of the type of conversation occurring and is listening for wandering about the weather and redirects the conversation to possibilities or action. By utilizing these distinctions in listening the meandering at times in conversations will be addressed and conversations can produce effective actions. By facilitating effective action, an individual or organization, opens new possibilities in their living with others. By being blind to the concept of conversation types we loose focus and fall into resignation in what we envision in our living and the actions we are taking. By implementing the distinction as an observer of type of conversation we are having we can become more effective and efficient and produce breakthrough results in what we undertake in our living as a conscious being.
“Building Blocks for Action” in Languaging
Requests: An action you take when you seek assistance of another in satisfying an underlying concern you have. A request is made in the present and invites a future action by another or others.
Promise: Is what you speak to indicate your commitment to fulfilling what someone else has requested. It implies you understand the request fully and that you are competent and sincere about fulfilling what is asked of you.
Declaration: Is an utterance in which someone with the authority to do so brings something into being that was not there before. Language has the capacity to open a space of possibility for human beings.
Assessments: Is a judgment that you make about the world in the interest of taking some action. Assessments are never facts and are formed by the interest and standards of the person making the assessment.
Assertions: Is a statement you make for which you are willing to provide evidence. If you make an assertion and cannot provide proof, sometimes you have to withdraw the assertion. If you make an assertion contrary to or ignoring evidence, then you are mistaken or lying.
Linguistic Viruses Causing Linguistic Failures / Miscommunication
1) Not Making Requests – wanting or needing something from someone else and not making the request. Reticence or fear of hearing no and feeling rejected. No is to a requested action not a rejection of the person.
2) Living with Uncommunicated Expectations – a pernicious form of “not requesting” occurs when an individual lives in a world of “shoulds” and expectations that are really unexpressed requests. Private conversations with ourselves about what others should and should not do. A setup for conflict.
3) Making Unclear Requests – lack of clarity and precision in a request generates a breakdown. It is foolish to think others know what you want. Others do not see the world as you do so to coordinate successfully be specific, precise and detailed.
4) Not Observing the Mood of requesting – making a request like a demand or like a beggar. The mood of your utterance affects the listener as much as your words. If your demanding, people might decline your requests because they see you as arrogant and righteous, or they might make promises to you out of intimidation, not choice.
5) Promising even when you aren’t clear of what was Requested – committing to something you are not clear about is foolish.
6) Not Declining Requests – the ability to decline requests is crucial for health and dignity. Invitation is a special type of request that is social and declining is always acceptable or it was not an invitation.
7) Breaking Promises Without Taking Care: Undermining Trust – I trust you are sincere, competent and reliable to do what you promised. Taking care of that trust when broken immediately is staying accountable, being in integrity and having dignity for what has been said by “you” and “others.”
8) Treating Assessments as the truth or as Assertions (Facts) – “Everything that is said is said by someone.” Our judgments are a function of our history of living and the standards for satisfaction that we embody. Assessments are not the truth and treated as such conflict arises.
9) Making Assessments without Rigorous Grounding – make assessments with grounded evidence for your view or statement as well as being open to contradicting evidence for the assertion you make in conversations with others.
10) Making Fantasy Affirmations and Declarations – assuming an affirmation or declaration will happen by itself. Powerful, intentional people do not indulge in fantasy affirmations and declarations. Enactment is the key to action.
A Few Popular References Utilized in Monograph "Invitational Consultant"
“You Are What You Say: The Proven Program That Uses the Power of Language to Combat Stress, Anger, and Depression” by Matthew Budd, M.D., and Larry Rothstein, Ed.D
“Building Trust in Business, Politics and Life” by Robert Solomon and Fernando Flores.
“A Simpler Way” by Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kelher-Rogers
“The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems" by Fritjof Capra
I pulled this GroupWorks card at random at the end of our call. I think it speaks to something at the core of this whole idea of possibility versus problem solving...
Ben, the declaration of possibility I am inspired by and that can transform the community is to partner with you to have Occupy Cafe be an alive space for possibility for Occupying our World!
is there an archive of waht went on in theis conversation in the 2 hour slot (11a-1p EDT) ?
am I looking in the right spot for info on what was done during 11am-1pm EDT today?
The declaration of possibility that I would like to make is to self-remember, to be aware, to listen with curiosity from the place of not knowing, to speak when called to speak and to not speak when not called to speak.
Just to be clear, this is not what I usually remember to do. I do know that this possibility exists within me.
Thank you for this gift, Eric!
A podcast will be posted later today or tomorrow, with a link here on the forum.
Appreciated the flow, four quadrants and movement in this call today. WOW! to the authentic continuation that emerged in the precious priceless following the scheduled two hours conversation. I personally experience the Occupy Cafe deepening the U presencing in an manner of participants artistically sculpturing the foundational appreciative inquiry and dialog to begin to design a new world together. In today's Twittering Universe and Instantaneous Imagery in Video there is still a hunger for wholeness that can only be felt in human utterances where we hear the depth of the human soul find it's home in one another's hearts, and we share what we experience in common, no one is really listening! Maybe instead of working at professions and careers as knowledge workers overwhelmed fire fighting leadership mandates we could just "slow down the innovations of new distinctions" and "explore ancient ancestral praxis" of having all the time in the world to hear human utterances in one another's voices. Imagine turning off the mass minded corporate media bullshit and laughing our way through a generative leadership renaissance where sacred beings of tomorrow (children) are heard and the genius of their openness, authenticity and curiosity guides our questioning and design of a future world together. We have all the time in the world and not a moment to waste. Ben and Jitendra need our encouragement, gifts and commitment to see the big vision game happen. Today was precious, thank you!
I have been reflecting in my journaling since last Friday preparing for the call's intention "What is Possible NOW?" The initial question was "What do U need to let go of to be fully present in this Occupy Cafe What is Possible NOW? It's a domain of appreciative conversation emerging in humanity's experience. I said "the feeling of being alone in appreciating the Lakota people at Pine Ridge Reservation." By the end of the conversation today I was ready to cry in the personal experience that have witnessed of what really has happened to the social innocence in our human nature that I am presently experiencing with my Lakota brothers, family and fellow veterans. I am humbled in the courageous authentic voices I hear surrounding me that are sharing the meaning of Wolakota; a treaty arising in peaceful friendship's without greed for power, titles, roles and publications. A home where I have lot's time to hear the heartfelt painful stories of emotional poverty burst forth like a new sunrise in the ancient wisdom continuum of dignity as a manner of ethical social relationships. Awe arises in seeing one another and appreciating everyone's pain is a piece of my own hidden darkness coming into the light of day. I know where home is finally and it's the inner altar within the human heart felt senses where inner space in momentariness is a precious priceless experience in living speech not dead demands of obedience negating authenticity. I know where I want to buried and the root understanding of the meaning of family. All the Papal Bulls in the world's history declaring a Discovery Doctrine can't hold a candle to the revelations, relaxation, recreation and restoration I feel everyday. Eating dirt is good for me and I have fell in love with the moon, sun and earth.
In my sacred circling today we touched on the National Concern, Whole Issue of Possibilities and Encouraged one another to continue in our passionate desire foe social justice, shared equality in owning what owns us, and the rough spot of "subjective relativism" where everyone is a Pope creating reality and truth, and the Dalai Lama is equal to Larry Flint in our agreed upon community standards of behavior. Really? Questions need care, feeding and nurturing not transcendental ontological answers from the unseen gods we have invented in the birthing of psychic space in languaging. I feel like this game time in the big super galactic fish bowl of stars surrounding me. Being autopoietic is cool, hip, natural and fun. I see a way through the coercive deceptions in swept along historic discourses, patriarchal institutions and ignorant human practices embedded in denied emotional contradictions and double binds appearing as hypnotic mesmerized certainties defining human nature as arrogant aggressive violence moving at lightening speed going faster, better and cheaper to nowhere. I am going inside and claiming authority of my state of mind, the country embodied in my flesh and the sole president responsible for every word uttered committing to walk my talk not talking myself to death. Smart MF's are considered crazy MF's by dumb MF's. There's a Twitter for U in 48 characters.
Here are four take aways I observed today that I plan to incorporate immediately in my mission:
1) Building Communities Value is an appreciative conversation (inquiry ~ dialog) where the U presencing is deepened in authentic living speech acts where instead of talking about which came first the rooster, chicken or egg, the enactive agreed upon exchange creates unity and solidarity laughing at the stupidity of the question and who even gives a shit! It's a unity not a bunch confused ignorant parts pecking each other to death in ontological arguments.
2) The Lack of any Institutional Configuration facilitating wisdom versus education in the world today, and not in "a person" rather "a wise sing up group." Occupy Cafe is a wise sing up group. I intend to utilize the manner of social invitation suggested today: I invite my family, friends, community/citizenry to participate in designing a safe, peaceful and abundant adorning manner in our interactive social relations. What is "IT" U want? What is U'r curiosity? What does U'r being passionately desire? What do want to become in freedom, independence and self regulated responsibility? How do imagine in the future possible possibilities? Questions need care, feeding and nurturing in appreciative conversations not answers denying authentic responses to our current collective human concerns and complaints.
3) Occupy Cafe is an appreciative conversation with immense emergent possible possibilities! Yea mon! This Occupy Cafe may start running 24/7/365 as a live speech on enactive embodied crazy one's who have all time in the world and not a wasting another moment on bullshit. Bullshit has become a technical utterance to insane western nonsense being pumped up and out by a bunch of arrogant aggressive assholes. I said that and I am willing to defend my authentic sentiments with anyone who thinks differently. We are way past the barbarians at the gate throwing cocktails into the 1st class compartment. I feel like I living in the baggage compartment with wise men and women designing the next big game intending to take over the train arresting the adolescent engineers who think life is consumptive enlightenment as profit making entertainment of human suffering.
4) The blessing is "owning what owns you!" This is going to be sweet for some in pain and painful for others who are the walking dead in Plato's Cave. In the end I submit what owns US is infinite eternal goodness that has structural determinism in a living universe and as a generative principle is holographic in the autopoietic observer we call human nature. The "observer error" is paradoxical in that we are "limited autopoietic biological phenomena = identity" that is not separate nor distinct from the creator/creation that constitutes, sustains and maintains wholeness in the web of life. Yet, we are fragile, caring, loving animals not gods. Maybe god's desire to be us I don't know. What I do know is we liberate one another in meaningful human conversations person to person in authentic trust for fragile life we share as proprietors of the family of man sharing an earth building solidarity in the future. I submit that requires "Full Employment" as stewards of a tomorrow beyond our current imaginations. Wondering is a great past time in all our ancestries that replaces emptiness with living springs that live forever.
May all beings be happy! May all beings be loved and well fed! May all beings awaken to find their way! (Twitter THIS only 100 characters)
Ben and Jitendra Journal Notes from over the weekend preparing for conversation, hey mon, I am all in!
"We have all the time in the world and not a moment to waste."
Ben I appreciate the conversational inquiry and dialog emerging in this Occupy Cafe over the past couple months. I feel the experience of heart to heart authentic dignified conversations that are continuously emerging in hearing and sharing a commitment to design a future world together. As I reflect on our possible possibilities as a member of humanity the clearing for learning that strikes me today is my first meeting with Humberto Maturana in 1984 introducing the "Core Biological Technology of Being an Autopoietic Human Being" and latter articulated the notion of "Biology of Love."
Fish live in the medium of water and birds live in the medium of air. Where do we human's live? What medium owns my nature, identity, activities, humanness? As an autopoetic living being I experience emotional passionate heart felt sensibilities in daily living within a living universe. Questions need our caring, feeding and nurturing more than simplistic taken for granted answers passed from generation to generation like a sacred lamp. One must slow down and become an "observer of the observer" in the swept along historic drift one parachutes into at birth and explore the internal "observer" landscape and horizon in unchartered unseen waters reflecting on the questioning of what is IT "i" do, when "i" do, the things "i" do? Two new realizations emerge; First, one starts to awaken from living in denial, self negation, and powerlessness in determining what is reality? And truth in human experience is instantaneous in human feel not in time rational reductive mental strutures. Second, one becomes responsible in a dignified mood/state of joyful concern taking effective actions in whatever is arising in the conditional situatedness as a conscious human being caring for an emergent shared reality and valuing living in legitimacy~in~coexistence with others = love.
We share a universal dynamic biological web of life with all living systems and we love the beauty surrounding us as we hasten to the forest, oceans and mountain tops to settle down, rest, relax, and just experience the earth's surrounding universe in wonderous beauty. We love our friends who accept our fragility, mistakes and value learning in heartfelt social relationship, over the demand for obedience based in limited belief system's notion of power. What distinguishes our humanness from other living systems is we live in a languaging of heart in feel. We create our identities in language and they need attentiveness as a primary node controlling movements. Autopoiese is a definitive explanation explaining the generative operation of autopoietic closed cognitive processes constituting living in realization. I am limited to domains of activities in my attentiveness. Autopoiese is not an ideological theoretical historic explanation, rather my identity is autopoietic and all of my coordinations of coordination's in my daily living occur in languaging person to person in appreciative conversations. Every moment is an opportunity to invent. The world is an invention in a linguistic universe and by bringing forth an ethical dignified manner of behavior in living speech acts "others" are legitimate~in~coexistence in appreciative conversations. Especially is this true for the marginalized scapegoats, rebels, criminals and insane one's who refuse to be negated and demand for obedience in the insane emotional contradictions and double binds in modernity. Autopoiese is not an ideological theoretical pathway rather a realization in living of what constitutes, sustains and maintains human experience yesterday, today and tomorrow. In designing a future together let us agree in gathering human trust and harnessing our human intentions with a new/old standard practice "I invite/request/offer X by Y and I promise X by Y." Human suffering arises from shallow or criminal broken promises with one other. This is our collective cultural problem in our humanity. Let us agree together to a new agreed upon standard of ethical behavior and restore peace, trust and justice person to person in an ethical dignified agreed upon manner of social interactions = love.
The ancestral units of our humanity created languaging in love desiring to draw closer together in feel from a profound unified knowing autopoietic principle that created, sustains and maintains the entire web of life. This creative generative principle is never aware of our "observer error" that occurs in arrogant aggression as ignorant human behaviors. We fight and kill over the theoretical transcendental descriptions of reality and truth in ontological arguments in both religion and science using this creative knowing principle as a justification for man's inhumanity to man. Shame resides is our denied private disowned conversations operating in ignorance everyday in the worldhood we experience where the poverty of heartfelt isolation is an experience of being in aloneness and unloved. We hate what we do, when doing things we do violating our own natural autopoietic goodness as a living identity. This sense of isolated grandiosity based in power is a lie and nothing could be farther from the truth about what owns us in our living constitution, and yet we love the entertainment of the shadow based world we have invented together in ignorance more than the living presence of one another in the light of beauty everyday. We fail to encourage, adorn one another in values that bring forth happiness, and instead place our attention and willfulness on condemning, judging and blaming punishment.
So, the realization in living in this new beginning is that what we say (commitments I invite/request/offer X by Y and I promise X by Y) invents, creates and brings forth the reality we experience with one another, not the swept along historic cultural~matrix drifting in predatory chaos. We live today in a denied "observer error" collectively based in historic assumptions of arrogant aggressive patriarchal power; a global cultural blindness believing that excluding and appropriation for self based in title, position or publication through right of ownership claiming to produce safety, security and wholeness. It's a lie and the creative collapsing opportunity is to stop once and for all this mental structure of western civilization by committing to an ethical foundation of agreed upon practices in person to person interactive social relationships; friendship. This human conditional situational is starving us to death and all the consuming is bringing forth a an irreversible transformation like the caterpillar becoming the butterfly. The observer error is embedded in cultural discourses, institutions and standard practices appearing as hard rock reality constituting human existence in the swept along mental structure of western civilization's globalization. It's not only wrongheaded based in an "autopoietic observer error", it's a transformative train wreck inviting us to wake up and see what unifies us in the present creative collapsing opportunities of "Get Money or Eat Dirt," the pain points, the denied blind spots and the swept along ignorance operating in a mass collective mind of "buying and selling" one another and talking ourselves to death in ontological arguments on too many fine beautiful days. It's time to appreciate who we really are and what we really want in unity and solidarity. Grow up and understand that every utterance in languaging brings forth our world and it's not OK any longer in subjective relativism to live in bullshit where Larry Flint's voice of a pornographic universe is equal to the Dalia Lama's voice human happiness. There are consequences to what we say and do, and operating in ignorance is death, while operating autopoietically in conscious awareness brings forth creative living in all life as loving social beings.
I could go on and on in my musings. I just finished the 2012 Crazy Horse Veteran Memorial Ride with my Lakota friends in the Lakota Nation with 300 riders strong on horses riding into Pine Ridge. Nothing is more powerful than becoming a friend with a horse to create a clearing for learning in modern management science. You want a run an organization learn to ride a horse and handle the power of a rider. One learns quickly that it is never the horse's fault and always the rider's ability to remain in trusted relaxation in the flow of the pathway unfolding in the conditional situation emerging in the moment. There is a joyfulness that emerges in the rested reflection in momentariness where the grass is alive, the sky is speaking, and the togetherness is optimistic in the fun experienced on a ride of solidarity as one humanity.
In closing here is a joke. This year we had a silent clown show up on the ride giving ballon animals to the little ones. There was a mother who had two boys, one was pessimistic and the other was an optimist. She requested advice from a modern psychologist what to do? The counselor said "Put the pessimist in a room full of toys and the optimist in a room all alone with a tub of manure." She did and after a couple of hours she peaked in to check up on the boys. The pessimist was throwing the toys all around the room and breaking everything complaining nothing was any good. She then peaked in on the optimist and he was deep down in the tub of manure with his his legs hanging over the side. He peaked up out of the tub covered from head to toe in manure and smiling ear to ear at his mother and said "you can't fool me in this much manure there has to be a pony."
Now that is true 1% inspiration backed by 99% perspiration in joyful concern that we can all learn from and get full employment happening in being responsible for the human conditional situation we face in designing a future world together. Going through manure is heartbreaking and also a necessary step in finding the pony. Let's keep encouraging our Occupy Cafe conversations and before long we can get everybody back up on their horses and have some real fun in designing a tomorrow as humanity operating in an enactive embodied approach to problem solving in cooperative collaborative manner of living in realization.
Thank you for allowing me to speak my heart today from Pine Ridge Reservation SD USA.
A Background Excerpt from "The Order of Earth ~a Clarion Call" written in 2002:
Sixth, to promote, disclose and facilitate entrepreneurship, democratic action and cultivation of solidarity among all people. Our mission is to take effective action in transformation of the world not to be engaged in abstract deep reflection, which is contrary to our purposes and based in argumentation of theories, philosophies and traditions. We submit that humans are at their best when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted everyday practices in some domain of their culture and that means they are making history.
History-making in The Order of Earth is not about stopping war, feeding the hungry, overthrowing political regimes, or producing environmental intervention, rather to disclose and perpetuate history-making practices that impact our work, our citizenship, our cultural activities and values, and our everyday life.
There are major perils to history-making in Western society. One is the Cartesian tradition, which celebrates stepping back from everyday life to understand the world on the basis of rational deliberation. The Order of Earth advocates an intense involvement in the anomalies of everyday life as a means to understand the world and the changes it needs. The second is the neo-Nietzschea tendency to embrace radical, individual change for its own sake. Now that anyone can log on to the Internet to try on a new personality it becomes increasingly urgent that we retrieve our history-making skills, our capacity to care for our identity, both in everyday lives and in our public service.
Genuine entrepreneurs create historical change by producing a product/service that solicits people to change the style of their everyday activities and a company that instantiates the new way of life the product/service establishes. This is a skill that can be learned and produces cultural innovation by shifting desire and values. To meet the objectives of our mission this vital learning will be at the core of individual transformation. In other words we do not offer a way out of the world or anyone’s current dilemma or situation, rather we produce the entrepreneurial skill necessary to invent, generate, coordinate a new dimension of reality within the anomaly one is embedded.
Political action in democratic institutions is essential to the values and objectives The Order of Earth desires to bring forth. . Our concern is vividly underlined by the recent history of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the rise of multicultural pluralism in Western democracies that highlight the importance of clarifying our understanding of democracy. Democracy is being demanded in our global world and understanding political action and the consequences of a civic democracy and the role of a virtuous citizen is important in transforming our culture and standard practices on earth. As the entrepreneur is effective in reconfiguring a practice within a culture by marketing a new product/service the virtuous citizen is an active participant in self-rule in a civic democracy that seeks to create a social change in the politics of the community. The virtuous citizen is skillful in disclosing new values and social change with interpretation skills that speak to the human concerns of the community and as an identity builds coalitions with diverse organizations working toward a common good.
The problems we observe is political action groups currently fragment a civil democracy by concentration on a single issue and it turns into a “scratching of each other backs.” This forms a bevy of elite lobbies to whom legislators pay disproportionate attention and serves the elite while the interest of the whole or nation suffers. These political action groups become so powerful that they spend their time fighting one another for resources and coalitions are built for the short-term and based on mere expediency. Virtuous citizens in a democracy want to change their lives, not regulations, we will foster learning for the virtuous citizen in how to effectively deal with their everyday coping that produces interpretive skill to disclose new political realities. It is a process of cultivating an identity, a new observer, which leads to solidarity in community and affect their worldhood over time in the act of history-making.
Customary solidarity celebrates and perpetuates the bundle of concerns citizens currently identify themselves with. As our societies become increasingly multicultural, concerned citizens find it more difficult to agree on the composition of this human concern bundle, and this leads to breakdown of solidarity and to multiplicity of groups, each speaking for the objectified goods and values that it claims represents the essence of society. History-making solidarity of The Order of Earth is to speak to the larger set of concerns from many diverse groups who can accept the earth in reverence, revelation and restoration of values and practices. We are an institution dedicated to making-history with a broad development of solidarity between a diverse and polarized global culture. The history-making solidarity we seek to bring forth cross-appropriates, cross–fertilizes, rearticulates and reconfigures concerns from many to one, the earth and our home.
Seventh, to invent and produce a management and communication system to coordinate the action and interaction of The Order of Earth. Radical and pervasive changes are happening in our world with increasing momentum. A renaissance in world commerce and trade is occurring, fueled by a technological revolution in communication, internationalization in the markets, market fragmentation and environmental, social and political concerns of societies worldwide. Changes in our work and private lives, new possibilities emerging in all domains of human concern, and increasing competition to learn and understand has produced a massive adaptational breakdown - prophesied by Alvin Toffler in "Future Shock," thirty years ago. Our world has changed; the rules, traditions, and ways of being are under severe challenge.
We live in a period of unprecedented change. Humanity is in the midst of creating a new civilization. Toffler describes three waves of civilization. The first wave was agriculture, the second wave industrialization and the third wave is a radically new communication structure and non-industrial wave built on sand (silicon), wire (optical) and air. While the knowledge landscape of previous generations was stable and changed little, knowledge is now doubling three times a decade. Confronted with all this new knowledge, technology and possibilities, the essential strategic question is how to design new structures and organizations that can thrive in the 21st century. For previous generations, business and commerce were local in scope and slow to change. The world of commerce we live in today sees change happen instantly and globally. In response to these rapidly changing realities, everyone needs to learn how to be a designer. Design is a way of thinking that is concerned with inventing actions that open new opportunities while anticipating future breakdowns. Everyone within an organization can be empowered to design and make a difference all the time. Leadership is a conversation addressing human concerns through coordinating actions with others and inventing new realities and identities within our human community. Phrased another way, this is a matter of inventing anew the games in which we participate. It is a conversation of we versus I, with a vision and mission to build and take care of our future as a community. Leaders read the world, and then sculpt the actions of others in language. They inspire others into new games and plays…. In addition, when masterful, into a new vision of the future. To create these new organizations of the future we need to shift the focus of management from objects, things and events to human communication and relationship. Every organization is a network of conversations. An organization starts with a declaration in language and proceeds to a network of commitment: requests and promises between governors and governed, employers and employees, and customers and vendors. No matter where you are, the language you speak is commitment. We need organizational simplicity that can cut deep into the assessment of modern complexity. In the midst of chaos, confusion and breakdown the V-3W project mission within The Order of Earth is to produce a simplified organizational design based on being human and mastering the complexity around us. Our design incorporates human communication, interaction and coordination as the central feature of design. With this new interpretation and set of distinctions, organizations can be invented where humans flourish while simultaneously generating economic viability, creativity and productivity as a standard practice.
The V3W project will focus on inventing the technological infrastructure for the Order’s administration, management, operations, coalitions and projects, and simultaneously will be developed as an incubator for leaders to learn business design practices that bring forth “The Next Industrial Revolution” in their industry or service. V3W is a for profit limited liability company that intends to be a self-generating structure for the financing of The Order of Earth’s mission long-term. V3W will participate directly in the projects on an equity basis that are accepted to participate in the incubator and promises to create innovation in the roles, practices and standards thereby building communities of value within free market profitable enterprises in 21st Century.
Eighth, to practice and promote contemplative reflection. Our view of our current delimea is stark yet contemplative reflection immediately brings peace to the current human concerns and connects us to infinite living spirit in this Age of Activity. The future worldhood we envision is a peaceful setting that is contemplative from birth to death. A place where a person finds his home on earth and instead of reaching ever higher, expanding, mastering, one decides to reach inward and downward into their self and the earth learning the practice of reverence, revelation and restoration.
The new frontier at the threshold of our existence is the interiorization of consciousness. The landscape is an eternal and infinite presence only available in our awareness of momentariness. As biological creators we are only alive in the present, and we are temporal, and it is part of our structure. It is possible to celebrate death in our journey as much as birth. Understanding and living within this constraint we can value deeply the actions we take and the world we build together with one another.
The stillness, silence, breath we experience can be taken in reverence, revelation and restoration. To have reverence for life and living one must be grateful for whatever one is given. It opens a state, mood of wonder and awe for every little step and act one makes or takes in the journey. It also opens up a new capacity to listen, feel, touch, smell and sense that reveals an intimacy with creation and living. Appreciation and revelation arises in our experience of living together and a new social being comes forth. In this contemplative practice our health and well-being is restored and there is rest and peace where we are. And we can work together on the restoration of our home, the earth.
Ninth, to network with existing organizations, institutions and systems in developing interdependencies, coherence of mission and effective actions addressing the joyful concern of planetary consciousness. Our objective is to build relationships with existing organizations, institutions and systems in a dynamic fashion and manner. The concerns we embody are not national or ethnic they are global and distratrous if not addressed. We have a choice to either experience a catastrophic collapse from exhausting our material basis, management of the complexity, or militarization of the planet, or gracefully awaken and begin working in an age of activity that is coherent and congruent with the natural laws and principles we share with all life. In short, it is time to grow up, today.
The spiritual renewal we envision to maintain sustainability begins with humility and forgiveness. We must forgive the terrible wrongs at the heart of the bitter ethnic and national rivalries of past centuries and move on. No convergent logic or scientific solution will enable us to transcend the self-perpetuating hatreds and violence in the world today. You can start at home within your own family and move out from there to friends, associates and the general community. The only solution to this divergent problem is a profound sense of forgiveness and mercy that rises above the convergent logic of justice. The sin of ignorance is universal.
We are “upright mammalian weeds” and a robust spiritual sense may not mean that we are created in the image of God; it does offer the hope that we may grow into something more than a planetary plague. Our robust spirituality must help us go deeper to resolve our “terror of death” that haunts this loving human animal like nothing else. The effort to deny the reality of our death is the mainspring of human activity including much of what we cannot sustain. Taking planetary consciousness seriously means whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything.
The urge to cosmic heroism is sacred and mysterious and not to be neatly ordered and rationalized by science and secularism. No culture has gone farther than our own to deny individual mortality, and in its denial it is killing the planet. A spirituality that allows us to face our own mortality honestly without denial or terror contains seeds of the daily heroism necessary to preserve life on Earth. Instead of terror, a deeper spirituality would lead us to a place of gratitude and celebration. It would also energize us to act.
Will we be able to act in time available? Caught between complacency and despair it is time to leave these complexities behind us and get down to work.
Think big, we need to make a global constitution of human rights - it needs to liberate all humanity, while protecting earth's natural ecosystems including all other living creatures.