Dear Friends:

Thank you so much for your support and attention over the past fourteen months.  It's been quite a journey!

Please join us this Monday, January 21st for the final Occupy Cafe Call that co-founders Ben Roberts and Jitendra Darling will be hosting (8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT).  (Note there is no need to re-register if you have been participating in our regular Monday Vital Conversations).

We gather as a community to celebrate all we have explored together and the relationships that have been forged in the process.  And while this is billed as a farewell party, it marks new beginnings as well, so we also will take some time to talk together about things that are now in motion and new possibilities that are emerging.  We hope you can be with us.  Note that we will be keeping the www.OccupyCafe.org site open for the foreseeable future--the transition now involves the end of our cycle of hosted weekly dialogue via Cafe Calls and forum discussions.

As always, we also have this forum space to expand the conversation.  Please post something here if the spirit moves you!

Photo courtesy of GroupWorksDeck.org

 

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Folks,

Occupy, in my judgment, was the beginning of our transition into the next layer of maturity of the human species: our movement from the assumption that competition is the fundamental process in nature to the knowledge that cooperation is the fundamental process in nature. Competition cannot occur unless we both agree that what we are competing over is important, a cooperative context. Therefore, cooperation is fundamental and competition, compromise, and love are three kinds of cooperation. Cooperation cannot be escaped and it does not have an opposite: it is the fundamental process in nature. (Opposites only exist in language; they do not exist in nature.)

Why is this relevant? This marks the end of the competition between capitalism and socialism. We are now moving into a time when every day more and more people will agree on the following things:

Cooperation is the fundamental process in nature.

Cooperation is when the parts give priority to the whole.

Therefore, the universe is one indivisible whole.

If the above is true, and I am sure it will eventually be agreed to be true because it is true, then by nature we each are always giving priority to the common good of the one and only whole. About this we do not have choice. This is nature. We can only be doing it at different layers of maturity of the skill of doing it. Right now most of us are at the level of maturity that has us still thinking competition is the fundamental process in nature and, therefore, we each naturally give priority to our physical bodies. The latter is not true. Occupy was the first scream that this illusion is coming to an end.

Occupy was not for killing the 1%. Occupy was a non-violent, that is loving action, of saying to the 1%, "You need to work with us for the common good." This is the new day. Occupy brought this to our attention.

Where Occupy was still immature is that it saw hierarcy as bad. This is easily understood.

In America we have almost never experienced hierarchy as anything other than a power system. Hierarchy is not PRIMARILY a power system. It is primarily an efficiency system. It can be used as a power system, but it is only secondarily a power system. We could have a consensual cooperative organization where our operations are organized in a strictly hierarchical way for efficiency, ease of success, etc. Since all would know that the consensual body of all could change the leader-facilitator at anytime, it would be experienced by all as PRIMARILY an efficiency system and the power relationship would only be honored as PART OF an efficiency process and nothing more. The Mondragon Cooperatives have mastered this and become the third largest holding company-equivalent in Spain. 

If Occupy had understood this, we could have organized ourselves into an organization more powerful than the Mondragon Cooperatives. We would have all loved being a part of it and it would be an effective national organization that celebrated each person's unique contributions within us all honoring the hierarchical operation as an efficiency system to have effective execution, and felt fully united, empowered, and with the entire organization at our backs.

So, Occupy is the beginning of this transition into the next phase beyond capitalism and socialism where our highest priority is the common good, our process is non-violent (invitation not force), and, most important, our request is for all businesses to give priority to cooperation among competitors. In each product and service area, competitors would reach voluntary agreement to raise the level labor, environmental, and social playing field while continuing to compete with each other as a secondary priority.

I know, this appears extremely radical and will never happen. The next layer of maturity in action is something we are not doing and cannot currently imagine or it would not be the next layer of maturity currently unknown to us. We have to master a new way of thinking before we can even imagine much more master a new way of being with each other. The above is the new way of thinking: freely choosing to give priority to cooperation for the common good. Not doing one or the other, but prioritizing.

Giving priority to prioritizing while doing many things at the same time is the new way of thinking that will make giving priority to cooperation make total sense. However, this will not occur until we understand that we can do many things at the same time as a result of developing habits and forging agreements and that by nature we all are already giving priority to the common good of us all as we each think is best and about that we do not have choice. That is nature. 

So, Occupy lives. Occupy was the beginning of this transition to the next layer of maturity for the human species. Remember, there was a time when human's did not have languages. There was a time when we did not understand the importance of each person's right to act as a free agent. Freely choosing to giving priority to cooperation for the common good and second priority to competition while doing both fully, like in basketball, is the next layer of maturation of the human species.

It is fun to be a participant in the maturation of the universe's ability to manage itself self-conscioously through us. Therefore, this transition into this next layer is inevitable. Maturation is the kind of cooperation that is fundamental in nature and it cannot be stopped. We are going somewhere, not in time but in maturation. Occupy is the beginning of it.

Terry Mollner

Here's my celebration list.  Regret I may miss some of the festivities tomorrow.  I'll do all I can.

  1. Closeness to sensing a group consciousness esp on several occasions. (rare & invigorating to me)
  2. Being with others who seek self awareness and honesty.  My admiration to Sam for his unrelenting practice to push these attributes.
  3. Honesty. (I have more to say personally)
  4. Fierce topics.  Depth.
  5. Facilitation.  Lessons in listening and patience.  Trusting gentle instruction & guidance, shaping an affectionate inner and outer exploration.
  6. A backyard fence.  An easy to use written forum that was the basis of many meaningful dialogues and for me important personal lessons. 
  7. My education has been given a shot from a wealth of expertise, stories, and organizations, art, poetry, videos and personal connections.
  8. A place to be heard, to try stuff and test what it sounds like.  Resistance.
  9. Friendship or acquaintance with surprising human sensitivity, tenderness, depth, love, as well as some intellect.  
    Care and compassion.  Friendships.
  10. Products.  My own personal growth in listening.  A Declaration of Interdependence.  Group calls having spontaneous silence... one lasting ~7 minutes.  Wealth in high quality information, research, creativity, spiritual explorations.
  11. A beginning step toward human harmony. (see Honesty)
  12. Request.  Can those who consent receive a contact list to encourage friendships & future connections? (.. in addition to help making possible continuing dialogues.)



 

Thank you again everyone for a great ride!  Our last call felt just right to me, including the mix of regular and less frequent participants.  

Loved Gabi's suggestion at the end that we do a reunion call in three-to-six months, so stay tuned!

Here are the things I am involved in moving forward that I mentioned at the end of our call:

  • "New Town Cafe" (still in an emergent phase).  My original conception was for something that would have looked a lot like Occupy Cafe in many respects, with the additional of an in-person dimension here in Newtown and other in-person hubs elsewhere as well.  I should have a better sense by mid-February if this space, or something else like it, will be something I want to bring forth.  Your feedback is welcome.
  • The Conversation Collaborative is launching in partnership with Occupy Cafe regular and core team member Heather Tischbein. We would love to work with anyone who might have an idea for the following:
    • A juicy conversation series that people would pay to participate in, perhaps themed in ways that are similar to what we have been doing in the Cafe
    • Some kind of tangible outcome tied to the process
    • Our initial engagements might involve:
      • Gathering virtually, a la Occupy Cafe, and perhaps also in person
      • ~100 people
      • A pre-designated time frame of between two to eight weeks
      • A commitment of ~five hours/week for each participant
    • Some themes we are considering:
      • Warriors for the Human Spirit (inspired by Meg Wheatley's So Far from Home)
      • Work Revolution
      • Thriving Cascadia
      • Sustainable Agriculture Quantum Leaps
      • Fostering a national conversation around death, dying and end-of-life care
    • If you have an idea, or want to share something about one of the above themes, please go to our Conversation Collaboratory.
  • The Macroscope for Online Dialogue and Deliberation. This has been submitted as a project candidate for the NCDD Catalyst Awards, an opportunity to receive grant money to launch collaborative projects related to dialogue and deliberation.  OC's own Pia Lizana will be working with me on this if we win.  If we don't win, I plan to look for other funding sources to pursue this project.  For detailed information on this project, click here.  Below is an excerpt from the project summary:
    • Can we come up with something that does for online dialogue what the spreadsheet has done for numerical and data analysis?  Can we create a simple, intuitive and highly flexible set of tools that allow for endless creativity in the way online conversations get structured and mapped?  Can we make online conversation so dynamic that it takes on the addictive qualities of a massive multiplayer game?  
      That is the goal of the Macroscope--a term Joel de Rosnay introduced to describe a tool that reveals the complexity of a thing. In the realm of online dialogue, a macroscope would allow us to have highly nuanced conversations of all kinds and purposes. One might also think about this tool as a "super-forum."

I have enjoyed the calls that I was able to participate in.  I was proud to be part of a group of mature individuals who were considering the various issues deeply.  I am grateful to Ben and Jitendra for the time that they devoted to this effort for so long.  It does seem that the Occupy Movement in general has settled down, though I will never be the same for the attentive awarness that it raised within me regarding our governmental structures.

I wish both of you all the best and whatever your hearts desire to pursue in the future.  It has been a pleasure getting to know each of you, even a tiny amount.  I was traveling when the last calls occurred and so, come a bit late to leave greetings and farewells.

Peace & Blessings,

Deb

Thank you, Deb.  I have appreciated your steady and supportive presence.  Perhaps there will be more commerce between us in other venues!

I am ever open to such possibilities !!!

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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.

Mondays
"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


Thursdays
"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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