What promises are you willing to make?

Please help us start  this conversation now and then join the Cafe Call on Monday as well:

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT
Click here to register for all our Monday Vital Conversations


This is our fifth conversation based on the model developed by Peter Block in Community: The Structure of Belonging, building on the "Dissent""Possibility", "Ownership" and "Invitation" conversations we hosted from May through August.  Once again, we are delighted to welcome back co-hosts Eric and Elaine Hansen, who have worked extensively with Block, and are masters of this form.

Here is Block's take on the essence of Commitment:

Commitment is a promise made with no expectation of return. It is the
willingness to make a promise independent of either approval or reciprocity
from other people. This takes barter out of the conversation. Our promise
is not contingent on the actions of others. The economist is replaced by
the artist. As long as our promise is dependent on the actions of others, it
is not a commitment; it is a deal, a contract. A bargained future is not an
alternative future; it is more of the past brought forward.

The declaration of a promise is the form that commitment takes; that
is the action that initiates change. It is one thing to set a goal or objective,
but something more personal to use the language of promises. Plus, to the
extent that a promise is a sacred form of expression, this language anoints
the space in the asking.  

Community: The Structure of Belonging, p. 136

In this time of upheaval and transformation within our communities, our countries and the world as a whole, what are you truly committed to?  Consider your behavior and actions with others.  Consider the results and outcomes you wish to see in the world.

  • What promises are you willing to make?  
  • What is the promise you are postponing?

As always, we invite you to begin the conversation right now on this forum and in person with friends, family, etc. before joining us on our call this Monday, October 1.


Views: 656

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Rebecca Solnit has a new piece up on Common Dreams (h/t Tom Atlee) in which she decries the negativity and demand for doctrinal purity of those on the Left.  She ends with this exhortation, reinforcing the context we are presenting for this conversation on Commitment:

There are really only two questions for activists: What do you want to achieve?  And who do you want to be?  And those two questions are deeply entwined. Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.

That is the small ongoing victory on which great victories can be built, and you do want victories, don’t you? Make sure you’re clear on the answer to that, and think about what they would look like.

To be trusted, answer the identity/being question before answering the achievement question.  To go where there is no way, as vines do, intertwine the answers and maintain them as if one.

Again, Covey agreed with Block.  His concise summary of the first three habits of highly effective people, establishment of which he'd already called the private victory, was "make and keep promises."

I see us here on the edge of time, as the old culture crumbles and the new paradigm of peace and love finds its ground. I commit to engaging in this transition as fully as I am able, to make it as peaceful and agile as possible. I do this primarily through local effort, but also through 'digital engagement' via the Occupy Cafe and other online efforts. I further commit to personally modeling the ways of being and doing that engender this transition.

C.A., a quick google search didn't bring up anything on 'Anasazi center of time' - can you expound or point me somewhere?

The promise I'm willing to make is to be a good neighbor and freely give and freely receive deeds of love.  I commit my life to serve the common good and empower people to help themselves and others. I am not here to comply with the status quo...I am weaving people together into one human family where they can experience life in a nurturing and supportive (global) family support network.  For me it's about letting go and opening up to unlimited possibilities.


The promise I'm postponing, is living out my life on a '52 sailboat and traveling the seven seas. This will have to wait for another lifetime.

Fuck computers and the assholes that.... 

don't have a clue every now and then (twice the last 1/2 hour) my hand touches something that wipes out what I've written.  there's no auto save here that i can tell

if i make it thru this I'll just say ... sorry I'll be missing this call on Commitment and Promise.  Maybe I'll go on my other desktop & try to reconstruct my proxy story later. 

In case I don't, I wonder if you'll examine apparent contradictions between Promise (past projected into future) the Now (w/o past or future) and Infinity of Truth (must include all past, present and future). 

When considering 'My Promise' I recognize it can be scary so I cling to that which I think I know, desperately as if I have control of something. 

On second thought, the Monday forum may be more for looking at the External elements of change. When talking about promises of 'others' their dualities don't present the same problems.

Ben et al,

Interesting definition of commitment "Commitment is a promise made with no expectation of return." Sounds like my Lakota friends and also a great definition to current situational global condition called "predatory chaos."  A dangerous paradox in a fundamental "observer error" in my assessment opening psychic domains of religion and patriotism fever (now psychotic powerful shadows of grandiose insanity) to be good, happy or sacred without any agreed upon mechanism for communications, management, integrity, justice and accountability in future envisioning.  

I submit that every oral or written invitation, request and offer in all domains of human interactive communications is always based in "conditions of satisfactions" between a speaker (requestor) and hearer (performer and promisor) even in charity and give`a`ways. The basic fundamental action that creates human trust in human utterances is "commitment" and the live act is a dance in developing mutual agreement in bringing forth a shared worldhood together in trusted behaviors in human agreements.  To say "A bargained future is not an alternative future; it is more of the past brought forward" is characterizing bargains as negative and denying a basic fundamental autopoietic biological basis operating in our linguistic universe; what actually owns us in this moment, factual situational condition based in promises, and the fundament throughout human history.  My first response is its a new age ungrounded religiosity, patriotism or cultist notion of producing a new change avoiding the hard problem at hand; Wall Street and Washington DC.  Every utterance taking place in all the units of our ancestries were linguistic trusted or distrusted agreements in human commitment bringing forth a world together, today through out our world everyone of us is dependent on trusted transactions in law to experience peaceful coexistence, and our collective new game in the future is interdependent on trusted structural determinism in "coordination of coordinations" in future human transactional configurations.  To claim that no accountability in the integrity of promised actions is not only wrongheaded, it is a fatal error in my assessment in the Occupy Cafe emergent live speech conversation descending into meaningless "Chaos on Bullshit Mountain."  We need action on Main Street demanding accountability and arresting criminality to false promises in capitalism's neo liberal unsustainable bullshit.  We need to be vigilant citizens in solidarity clear about the battlefield of comminity good and values of who we want to be!

Justice is a long fought notion of global wounded warriors in human history demanding equitable community standards in living.  I am a veteran and am prejudicial to new age horseshit that promotes no enactive embodied approach to critical breakdowns operating on the battlefields and in the boardrooms.  All this anti American rhetoric is internal and external is bullshit.  People have died to bring forth this moment and live in hollow grounds that need to be respected even if tyrants created wars.  Politics is philosophical distinctions that sculpts our shared human perceptions of truth and reality. America is an inspiring new agreed upon lawfulness to govern human conduct in agreed upon mutual conditions of satisfaction in citizenry and global relations.  I assess that collapsing domains of "sacred" with "politics of business" is the problem in our current 2012 election and societies worldwide.  We are all in business and we take for granted the elitist reductive linear discourses (i,e, economics) operating in false assumptions of hidden power, institutions enforcing the false ungrounded assumptions, and excuse of cultural ignorance of people based in being evil and stupid.  I am claiming my right as a citizen owning the empowerment in contactual law not denying it.  Denial creates a never ending shame and blame game for everyone involved and commitment is where the rubber the hits the road in real change capable of inventing paradigms.

One way to escape the problem is design a new understanding ignoring the historic breakdowns and claiming it is a creative solution: if everyone adopts the new philosophy, religions are experts in this domain. The Roman Empire was the largest world empire, then came Jesus speaking about the poor and a new distinction called "Church" arose as a political power, and became the most powerful institution in civilization.  Now its the merchant class that runs the planet and its financial growth of debt is unsustainable even in the near future. The blind spot in Peter's notion is its creating a new creation upon the previous "observer error" operating in the cultural historic drift, and to people such as myself (business man math) I consider it a crazy ungrounded notion, a new irresponsible "sacred cult in occupy cafe" based on first learning how to be sacred. I totally oppose anyone using sacred as a teaching mechanism because its nonsense after the last 2,000 years.  I am a biological conservationist owning that I am a Homo sapiens amans, saving self first in walking my talk, World Citizen committed to the Planetary Emergence in Climate Change, and don't need this sacred bullshit to know ethical action in my humanness, its embodied in my flesh as an autopoietic virtual identity.  Not something I need to learn, rather own as being me operating in natural law P2P.  

In my assessment, the real ground of change within any breakdown is not to escape in trying to create a new pattern, rather owning first the elephant in the room, distortions, obstructions and the anomaly operating in the prejudicial blind spots producing the pain points in the current cultural matrix.  The question I am fascinated with in this Occupy Cafe is what is the "observer error" operating?  I see Peter's insights in this regard as "being a change agent" in the cultural drift intherapeutic training.  My biological conservative reflection of a "monkey as irrational as ours" as a cognitive reflective insight offers that training is not the answer rather remembering biologically my autopoietic nature. (Laurie Santos)  My prayer is that someone in this cafe conversation can bear light on the paradox presented in the cognitive dissonance in the emotional experience of people offering solutions and maybe missing the depth of the hard problem.  I don't human beings need to change rather get serious by being human and changing the cultural killing them.  

I assert that human suffering itself is always already tied to "emotional responses of broken promises that are stuck in the constitutive agreed upon rules of the game being violated" P2P, C2C, G2G. This notion that live in some "epistemic closure" is a dynamic of the both right and left in political American discourse creating potential sea changes on the Internet.  

"Hypothesis: Epistemic closure is (in part) an attempt to compensate for the collapse of geographic closure. A function no longer effectively served by geographic segregation—because the digital equivalents of your local hangout are open to invasion by the hordes from New York and London—is being passed to media segregation, bolstered by the sudden demand that what was once tacit and given be explicitly defended.  On both explanations—and I think they’re complementary rather than competing—the shift toward epistemic closure is linked to changes in communications technology. Then the obvious question is whether it’s a short-term symptom of adjustment to that technology, or the start of a new equilibrium."

I am watching MSNBC for news, I assess they are the most emotionally charged in factual research of broken promises with no public accounatbility.  "It's not about Obama it's about your Mama" It's interesting how King George Bush's Ghost is hiding in the Bin Lauden cave in the "Epistemic Closure of Axis Evil" he invented.  We live out the stories we create.  Paul Glastris "The Elephant in the Room" is proving to be true in this election cycle as Romney's attacks on the economy is being blamed on Bush's imperial deceptive coercive rhetoric and give a way of US Treasury to Wall Street.  Winning this election is not enough today for Our Democracy as American Citizens to survive.  We must leverage the moment to unearth the truth in arithmetic, balance the ledger of commitments, and come together in the spirit of entrepreneurial endeavors in a radical new way, no business as usual, and return to promises in commitments within a 21st century participative engagement of Democracy serving and leading the World.  

To say we can ignore historical reflective factual experience in the current laws of the cultural matrix and adopt some new age philosophy lacking lawful agreements in bringing forth integrity in accountability is an interpretation of love where human beings are resigned to being lazy, self pity importance in feeling spiritual, and literally embracing stupidity of ignorance in regards to the present challenges and next iteration in the pathway of our human history.  I have suffered enough in this bullshit to last for all eternity and am overflowing with a deep profound emotional sadness in this notion that promises mean nothing in my society and offer these two examples:

The Entrepreneurial Breakdown

I am an American small entrepreneur that attempted to change the Titanic Exponential Predatory Chaos in the "Insurance Industry" by "Designing a New Jurist Prudence in Communication and Management of the Insurance Industry in the Age of Networking" during the Dot Com era (1997 to 2000).  My innovative design notion was based on the exact opposite notion of Peter's understanding of human commitments.  Simply put every communication loop in all stakeholders within a network of conversations (value chain operating an enterprise serving permanent domains of human and business concerns) is "primarily dependent on trust P2P(person/peer to person/peer).  Trust arises between "speaker and hearers" in conversations that continuously design, negotiate, modify, shift, and reframe agreements/commitments to "mutual condition of satisfactions."   The basic fundamental is a clearing for learning in the recursive negative/positive feed back loop P2P in social relationships, and it is millions of years old and embodied naturally in the autopoietic nature of being human; caring, feeding and nurturing one another in social relations with shared communitarian values in self organizing our worldhood.  When I go to the cafe fore coffee, I accept in blind trust that the coffee is not spiked with a drug. We are designed as human beings to live in structural determined trust that the surrounding universe is trustworthy.

In this insurance litigation experience I was blindly trusting that the insurance industry was operating in meaningful promise as an insured paying a premium and the insurer broke that trust and there is consequences that arise when promises are broken.  What I discovered in litigation suing American Family Insurance Company and a mid-size Denver insurance litigator Harris, Karsted, Jamison & Powers P.C. for Civil Conspiracy (Rico Intrastate Criminality), Breach of Contract, Bad Faith etc is the contractual system politically was rigged for Corporate Plutocracies, there is no truth in the American Dream, and the political system itself (State of Colorado) participates in abusive illegal criminality and ignores completely the notion of human justice and the community good.  I assumed the system was trustworthy in a naivete of blind trust and now know better, and the experience of learning was emotionally painful because I did not want to believe what I was experiencing.  Whatever we resist persists until you say "OK" I see?  

Breakdowns in human conversations and transactions are wonderful entrepreneurial events that breaks open the taken for granted blindness operating in the stories of concernful activities we engage in.  The reflective pain point "oh shit" opens the possible possibility of breaking through the resistance, denial, obstruction by designing a new interactive cultural awareness, pattern, practice that addresses the previous breakdown within the network of commitments offering an innovative solution  Not an entirely new structural systemic understandings of meaning that everyone must adopt as an angry blaming and shaming anarchist.  Participative engaged evolution is a continuous enfolding of networks of pluralistic diverse distinctions expanding natural generative creative intelligence in trust not faith.  

My blind romantic faith (religion and patriotism) was destroyed and the notion of economic patriotism is starting to make sense today, although I feel like the Last Sumaria at the beginning of a battle to the death.  I settled with AFIV and HKJP without any confidentiality because my commitment throughout the six years of litigation was not personal economic gain, rather the community good and concerns for children of tomorrow.  What is shocking is the response of "friends and neighbors" to injustice in my immediate surrounding community. Nothing!  People do not want to bothered with the pain point in change and cultural denial ignores the experience of other people.  No one cares in the dominant media of enlightened advertisement entertainment, there is no money in justice.  Everyone is escaping taking effective actions courageously within the "financial black hole of greed" and owning the blind pain point operating current commitments in the global cultual matrix of "ownership."  What if, I loose the crumbs I currently receive?  Commitments today don't mean anything.  People are lying in the denial of the cordial hypocrisy within the predatory systemic problems owning the cultural matrix. And if you do stand up for "Injustices in Trusted Human Commitments P2P, C2C, G2G" your alone because the cultural "observer error" has a created a culture of denial in solving the "Hard Problem" in human existence: ethical personhood, we are having too much fun making star power in glittering bullshit going nowhere.  We lie and human commitments are not trusted. Kids hate going to schools and parents hate to go work on Monday morning.  We don't trust education, religion, politics and commerce to name a few collective breakdowns.  In the personal domain gender, family, race, nationality and a sustainable future.  We feel all our fire fighting activities are useless attention and will power with one another.  

I don't want the Occupy Cafe to become another conclave of meaningless cordial hypocrisy.  A place where promises mean nothing and you live in some notion of no accountability but feel great in so new age spirituality of Abraham's channeling messages.  I want to meet people committed to authoring a new beginning and here is a great example of the "cordial hypocrisy" in this current 2012 election cycle Political Candidates at FedEx Office.   

The Lakota Nation

I left this "Chaos on Bullshit Mountain" where asking for Christian charity is considered benevolent good begging to sucking up to the notion of "Get Money or Eat Dirt" to survive, while notions of securing safe communitarian standard practices of human dignity, justice and equable accountability in social relations, treaty, contracts and agreements is considered an impossibility, and a vision of some future liberal utopia by so called cultural creatives and spiral dynamic practicioners.  Woops what about collective shadows, denied promises?  I own the historic swept along cultural drift I parachuted into as a cognitive agent.  It makes me feel like the wisest man of earth and stupidest man simultaneously.  It's hard work to pull your prejudices out of bullshit, not easy to expose your shame and humiliation, and you'll never see it in the 140 character twittering universe going faster, better and cheaper in a hypnotic mesmerized glittering fashion of things and stuff.  That's the distraction obscuring the truth of being making you deathly ill.

The USA broke promises to the Lakota Nation and I am absolutely indignant with the broken treaties, genocide, and intergenerational PTSD trauma that has occurred with no accountability by racial white elitist culture operating this global casino based on GNP in a casino of ROI capital; definition of the real bull~shot (Discovery Doctrine) that built the mountain poverty in our world.  I found a few new  friends in 2004 at Pine Ridge.  When I expressed my indignation of having sued an insurance company with more money than god, $500 an hour attorney's raping ethical intelligence in depositions, distrust in America business practices, they had a great belly laugh at my personal condition, responding "how would like to be Lakota?"  The laughter helped because I was listened to, and what a great question to break my own fixated experience.  It focused me on creating a clearing for learning of "what I want to be?"

Poor people may be the wealthiest people? If they know and own who they are as Homo sapiens amans, social wisdom?  I am done seeing young Lakota people hanging themselves on trees in moods of distrust despair, resignation, resentment and confusion.  I stand with the Lakota ancestral right to "He Sapa ~ Center of All That Is," the Black Hills of South Dakota USA.  The Lakota are the last indigenous Native Scientific Life Way in America that refuses to settle with the USA government's "broken treaty' where their claim was upheld by the US Supreme Court, and they refused the financial settlement.  Maybe this is Peter's deeper notion and understanding of living commitment beyond ownership notions?  (I hand delivered my confidential concerns to President Obama at the White House on December 1, 2010 and any core dedicated team member in the Occupy Cafe interested in reading 100 pages make a request.)

Breakdowns are interesting reflections only if you have the courage to enter the anomaly to experience the truth?  The emergent factual commitments of the Lakota creates a clearing for learning and mutual liberation in reconciling the "emotional contradictions" and "double binds in blindness" operating in the swept along cultural matrix of patriarchy to exclude and appropriate in arrogant aggressive power.  In this case colonialism Discovery Doctrine with a "Gun" in one hand and "Bible" in another did the trick.  Kinda reminds me of my brothers and sisters in the "Tea Party" and "FOX News" providing 24/7/365 enlightened entertaining bullshit supporting this economic elitist viewpoint of power.  Sheila Blair (Republican) has the audacity to write "Bull by the Horns" presenting a solution to Wall Street and Wall Street, oophs breaking that glass ceiling is impossible by the woman.  Amy Goodman Democracy NOW interview with James Henry (Republican) regarding $21 to $32 Trillion in "Tax Haven's Representation Without Taxation" by the wealthiest people on the planet.  93% of the current Income Gains went to the high income of 1% ers.  Failure of our political civil discourse to look at the household debt to GNP in the de~leveraging scam of big banks is the American governance denying the primary problem happening allowing the poorest people to take the hits.  We arrest people for stealing bread to feed their families and allow Wall Street to lie before the Congress with no accountability; People versus Goldman Sacks.    

Final last note, in this "Chaos on Bullshit Mountain" there is a leveraging tipping point happening in the American political economic conversations in this 2012 Election with 38 days to go.  As an accidental activist with a leading voice of human concerns, I want the Occupy Cafe to engage in appreciative conversations relevant to the election cycle.  I am still centered on understanding the "Occupy Wall Street Movement" as a world citizen, US Veteran, Entrepreneur, and Civil Rights Activist.  Wall Street's wrongdoings needs to be ripped apart by the throat in this deceptive coercive epistemic hidden closure of arrogant Romney Bullshit based in elite inequality, injustice, greed and high risk breakdowns about to kill everything on earth.  Let's STOP IT, no more excuses.  

This mentality of economic power has created a worldwide creative collapsing opportunity and universal distrustful breakdowns of human contractual commitments in governance and business operations.  To not take our citizenry commitments, promises as constituting our social reality is a serious mistake in empowering participative engagement in Democracy.  These elite bastards running this economic cabal based in war, conflict and divisive manufactured mass media muts end. I no longer look upon goodness in this meaningless Christian ideology that has created the fuel to fund a regressive fanatical ideological "Tea Party in King George's Insanity" that is now threatening WWIII in the middle east, and totally ignoring the "Planetary Emergency."  The methane problem is a theory and scientists really don't know and some project a big burn quickly.  The Climate Change Terrifing New Math is a must read in the "American Energy Policy" conversation based on "Drill Baby Drill."  We got serious problems needing real human commitment and political will power beyond Wall Street and Washington DC.   

I want to participate in a Occupy Cafe based in effective actions in solidarity to human justice as a communitarian, world citizen. I am a part of a historic lawfulness that has been fighting this bullshit for centuries designing the basic universal contractual agreement in a free, interdependent, self regulating communitarian notion as world citizens.  To claim that we can ignore history and create a new manner of exchange out of nowhere and ignore the consequences of what we do, when we do, the things we do is crazy in my assessment.  It may feel good in some liberal systemic cybernetic epistemic enclosure of a new cult based on some DOA christian view of being sacred, hoping for some new future to instantly arrive without any real reflective pain for what happen others.  Get ready to cry in reflecting on what has really happened here on earth.  

What is really needed is a deep rooted autopoietic virtual identities based in the biology of love committed to fight to the death for human dignity, justice and solidarity in our shared humanness and committing to reconciliation of shallow criminal activities in the cultual matrix we created, own and can only transform in P2P human commitments.  Committing to a principle that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" MLK, where we no longer justify operating in denial in religiosity or patriotism in nations, and begin the clearing for learning to design together a new world addressing C2C, G2G global trust P2P that ends war, poverty, climate change, and grounds our future enlightenment in real love: health and well being in happiness of sharing without greed, healing mother earth, caring for all of our humanity in brotherhood, and recreating the cultural matrix in solidarity as World Citizens in a mood of JOYFUL CONCERN where children of tomorrow live in recreation as anew game.  We were never born to cry rather be glorious in seeing the beauty in one another, and thereby adorning creation.  

(Thank you Gary Davis for bringing forth the notion of Law within "World Citizen" as being the essential process for experiencing peace by enforcing agreed upon political contractual agreements we choose to accept in solidarity. I for one stand with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and support the 2012 Indigenous People demand to rescind the "Discovery Doctrine of Papal Bulls."  For anyone interested I wrote the Vatican 20 pages on August 8, 2012 calling them to stop the bullshit in the current global economic conditional situation.)

Latter Mushin 

For Duane Elgins's reflective notion of Republican viewpoint here is where I stand:

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." 
Frederick Douglass 

My question is what are we doing here in this cafe?  No wonder there is so little participative engagement in the political discourse of 2012, its about building a new cult on feel and psychological christian bullshit.  Poor people don't need hand outs and if your waiting for them to ask for what they want in this new understandings of commitment based in shaming and humiliating them again, good luck!  If your interested in using "contactual law and enforcing liberty's notion of justice in our current situational conditions I am all in.  I don't need Peter Block's new distinctions of commitment and may be a real asshole and disruptor in the notion being offered.  

Jerry great comments looking to learn more from you.  Feel encouraged and I am just heading back to work after a 12 year hiatus.  I agree with this para "It seems to me that here in the cafe, we get the equal opportunity to share, without having to pay. Not a good thing unless that is the bargain offered by the stewards, my experience with those returning to say thanks is about 1 out of 10. That means to me that nine of ten have nothing to trade, and do not even care."  I get it and what do you envision as a way to create exchange in appreciate conversations in this cafe?



I have not reread whatever I wrote so please respond as necessary with more of the quote if necessary.

Here is what I know and don't know about the implicit (tacit) becoming explicit in the reflection of this conversation.  I consider the universe a perfectly ordered reality that is implicit in everything.  I see it, tast it, touch it, hear it and feel it inside and surrounding my existence in momentariness.  The distinction I choose to explain this realization in living is "autopoiese" (self-making or powered).  The implicit is becoming explicit in knowledge within a linguistic universe which I choose to call "autognosis." (self-knowledge-general systems categories of conversation attempting to explain objectivity in appreciative inquiry theoreticallyin a domain of specific knowledge as an observer). For instance we can say 'the universe was created from a 'big bang' in physics and deduce mathematical principles in quantum dynamics in theoretical conversations?  So autognosis has many viewpoints in explaining truth and reality.  Do you agree with this so far?

I invite us to consider that there is a third part called "being a Homo sapiens amans" where there is the biological realization in living in a an "observer ontology and cosmology" auto~contemplative (self observing the observer in identity, narrative and coordinations of coordinations in living.)  The romantic assumptions of previous gnosis is incorporated into presence as explicit awareness in consciousness, a wholeness arises between autopoietic and the universe, and the romantic disappears in that "identity" is no longer personal rather Kosmic.  For example, if you were my friend in the 14th century and you sailed off on a boat and I saw you head over the horizon, my body would be sweating in fear that you had been killed. The story in my body would have been the earth is flat and you can't go past the horizon.  That is a romantic notion that today we still experience when the sun sets yet is it's not true, we revolve around the sun. So in the implicit universe we have made many stories to explain reality that were romantic engagements in languages that are no longer true today, yet we love our old stories and want the explicit universe to correspond to our view point.  

I have been researching in cognitive science this notion of commitment since 1984.  The explicit realization I offer is that the breakdown in trust in human relations is the predominant problem and its operating in a romantic notion of denial based on past cultural assumptions.  One is that the womb of creation is caring and how do I get back to it?  When in fact the romantic answer for wholeness is in the explicit experience of your own observer not another.  Being autopoietic is to experience a epistemic closure forever and its not open.  I could spend 100 years with you and still only know a fragment as to who you really are?  Yet, we create characterizations of one another without ever having a conversation?  Today I refuse to be apart of the texting phenomena because it's faster, better, cheaper distortion of the "observer error" operating in the cultural matrix of technology.  You don't have to listen to the person and feel, you can get the glitter without being involved.  It's porno on steroids, look at the images and get hungry for wholeness, and masturbate alone in your own mind.  I have had friends say "i don't answer my phone any longer and just communicating by text." What are we doing is an auto~contemplative act of stopping the automatic cultural matrix and being autopoietic as an independent explicit action.

In my experience that takes courage and compassion to separate one's own self from the herd or group think mentality.  I am participating in the Occupy Cafe because it is appreciative live speech acts concerned with a new movement in the world called Occupy.  I gravitate towards Wendell Fritzgerald's notion of Occupy Earth and the economic philosophy of Henry George.  In the ownership conversation Dallas Chief Eagle from an oral language emerged offering a Lakota distinction of Wolakota, a treaty of peace and friendship without greed.  Last week Gary Davis "World Citizen" notion that peace only comes through law was an amazing revelation by a 91 year old man who has been walking his talk his whole life.  (I wonder if he texts?)

My immediate concern in this "auto contemplative occupy cafe" (appreciative inquiry) is 36 days from today we Americans are setting a course for the future and there are high economic stakes at hand.  Money is nothing but the symbols used to grease human commitments and its not evil, what is evil is for rich people to expect "representation without taxation" and use a good ethical citizenry as pawns in greed, ownership and high risk games that are unsustainable.  We don't have a debt a problem.  We have a criminal problem on Wall Street with Bankers that have stolen our intellectual property we created as taxpayers to international corporate performance engines inside a casino based on ROI capital and they are sticking us with the bill claiming they built it and own it.  That's an explicit lie, not true and the facts implicit in American history are a contradiction to the claim.  My concern is how do we leverage the emergent lie into a an explicit renaissance as world citizens because we are all global citizens now, even my Lakota friends living in oral languaging.

In my auto~contemplative stance I say new worlds arise out the ashes of the old and what is essential is the cornerstone of the next evolutionary cycle.  Commitment is what we do, have done, and continue to do in the future.  Without an agreed upon mutual ethical standard humanity will experience a watershed of suffering beyond our wildest imaginations.  I offer that trust is created in human commitments.  Such as the "Occupy Cafe Vital Conversation" is a commitment to engage not a commitment to leave your concerns at the door nor activate the directionality of the drift in the cafe.  I am not here to be trained or adopt the next epistemic closure, rather raise wholly hell and stop the bullshit effecting my and children's lives.  I am not a nice person in the midst of so many human stupidities, ignorance and blindness.  I don't care if I am liked or even spoken to.  I am outraged by the lack of commitment and self organizing happening in America society and intend to speak to it explicitly.  

Pray that helps and the conversation continues.  Thanks Mushin 



I promise to explain my definitions of the lexicon I use as a person who fell in love with cognitive science in 1984.  I intend to do so in a group conversation because learning about autopoiese is not necessarily easy, if it was, everyone would already know about it.  I am not a new ager rather a biological conservative operating in a constructive understanding of language.  Give me a few days to set up time and we can converse regarding the distinctions offered.  One thought to consider until then is this.  We do not "see" with our eyes.  Human perception is primarily based in "linguistic symbols" and seeing and being occurs in language.  Words are symbols that create "distinctions" in our nervous systems and the system sees in words oral and written.  Offering a new word such as "Wolakota" the distinction living in treaty P2P in peace and friendship without greed, shifts the internal reflection in the plasticity of the central nervous systems and a new pair of eyes emerge and you start seeing the world differently.  It's all internal and you control the choices you see the world through not the other way around.

Latter Mushin



I hear that you are unhappy and are questioning your participation in the Cafe.  I also get that there is something about the framing of commitment as "a promise made with no expectation of return" strikes you as New Age hooey.  

Your frustration makes sense to me, given the multiple crises we face on this planet and the lack of clarity to date about the "action" we are gathering in the Cafe to take to address them.  I truly empathize with you in this regard.

If you are looking for a response to some specific point, or if you have a request to make, or a commitment regarding the Cafe to share, I request that you post something brief.  I get overwhelmed (as I know many others do as well) by such long volumes of text in this context of conversation.  

I'm curious--for all your dissatisfaction, do you find that these conversations have a quality of "aliveness?"  

I will also add this, from Block's Community (pp.80-81):

Expanding Our Idea of Action

Of course, just coming together has to provide some movement toward
the future. Every time we meet, we want to feel that we have moved the
action forward.

The question is, what qualifies as action? Traditionally, we want a strategy,
and a list of next steps and milestones, and the knowledge of who will
be responsible for them in order to be satisfied that we have spent our time
well when we are together. Any change in the world will, in fact, need this
kind of action. To say, however, that this is all that counts as action is too

If we are to value building social fabric and belonging as much as budgets,
timetables, and bricks and mortar, we need to consider action in a
broader way. For example:

Would a meeting be worthwhile if we simply strengthened our

Would a meeting be worthwhile if we learned something of value?
Suppose in a meeting we simply stated our requests of each other
and what we were willing to offer each other. Would that justify our
time together?

Or, in the gathering, what if we only discussed the gifts we wanted
to bring to bear on the concern that brought us together. Would that
be an outcome of value?

Saying yes to these questions opens and widens the spectrum of what
constitutes action, and this is the point. Relatedness, learning, requests, and
offers of gifts are outcomes as valuable as agreements and next steps.

It is not that we are gathering just for the sake of gathering. Or gathering
to get to know each other. We come together for an exchange of value
and to experience how relatedness, gifts, learning, and generosity are valuable
to community. When we name these as outcomes, it allows us to get
completion for the investment we made without having to leave with a list
for the future.

With this expanded notion of action, we can bring visioning, problem
solving, and clearly defined outcomes into the room––and in fact we need
them to sustain us. People will meet to learn and connect for only so long,
and then a task is needed. The task doesn’t have to be the main point of the
gathering, but it is an essential point.

I appreciate the energy you bring, Mushin, as well as that of others who are critical of the Cafe.  Dissent doesn't cost you your place in the circle, although I don't see it as my job to "fix" things for anyone either.

Jitendra, Pia and I are quite taken with the new framing of the Cafe as a place where we are all invited to "live into humanity's New Story." Do you find that possibility inspiring and compelling, or is it more "New Age nonsense" to you?  If it does resonate, let's think about some tasks we might undertake collectively.  This will be the subject of tomorrow's Connect2012 call from 1-3pm Pacific/4-6pm Eastern.  You can also post thoughts on the forum thread for that conversation here.


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

Latest Activity

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

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


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2023   Created by Occupy Cafe Stewards.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service