Collaboration is crackling in the air.  Ben, Pia and I attended a conference in Seattle that called on attendees to imagine a national infrastructure for improving civic discourse.  More simply, how can we improve the ways in which we get more diverse voices together to talk about things that matter in a constructive and productive manner? 

After all, changes need to happen and we're struggling to get them going at a scale of meaningful impact.

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT
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One realization rose to the surface in virtually every conversation regarding collaboration—relationships matter!  Erik Liu, a main welcome speaker for the NCDD conference, concluded by speaking of the need for an "infrastructure of the heart."  Leaders of currently successful multi-organizational collaborations shared, the most important thing they've learned to date is that quality of relationship is the key to coming together.

"All relationships are founded on One, the one with your Self" has been the tagline for my transformation work for many years.  The quality of the inner relationship we have with our own self dictates the quality of all our outer relationships, at every scale.  If you want to accelerate your collaborative effectiveness, look at your personal foundation—your relationship with your self. 

Imagine a collaborative venture with followers of Groucho Marx (no, not Karl), the guy who wouldn't belong to club that would have him as a member.  Sadly, we may have had an experience or two trying to collaborate with folks that are combative, argumentative, dictatorial or simply unhappy with anything proposed as a way to move forward.  That hypothetical person is a classic example of someone who neither likes, accepts nor trusts themselves.  Their inner foundation is shaky, at best—and it shakes everyone around them.  On the other side of that experience, the more grounded we are in accepting ourselves, the more clarity and ability we'll have to navigate those experiences with compassion and creativity.  We can count on these challenges to arise wherever we go.  We won't need to retaliate with control, so long as we strengthen our inner foundation through awareness, acceptance, compassion and clarity of purpose with ourselves.

We'll explore strengthening our personal foundations for collaboration this week along with how we might better support each other.  Trust and acceptance within, builds trust and acceptance without.

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Jitendra, my image of WWII was not intended as a recommendation for vertical authority.  My first intent was to implant the idea that our response must be of a magnitude to match that of the threat.  My second intent was to implant the idea that SOME organization is needed. 

A mass of unorganized people is just a mob, and – as such – are easily countered.  Notice what little effect the demonstrations by millions of people had in preventing the first Gulf War.  During the lead up to the second Gulf War, I think we were too demoralized to even try.  I've already submitted a suggestion for a network structure where all have equal authority.

I was attracted to this discussion because it was triggered by a conference that “called on attendees to imagine a national infrastructure for improving civic discourse.”  Now the goal of imagining a national infrastructure seems to have been abandoned.  In its place, you suggest we work on our “inner foundation.” 

It is presumptuious to assume each of us needs to work on our “inner foundation.”  Some of us have worked on our inner foundation and are satisfied to the extent that we think we can function effectively. 

If we could create a network designed to pursue goals and make decisions, then I think relationships would take care of themselves.

Ben, I don't have any problem with having my communication style criticized, but don't bother to analyze me in the process.  Your attempt didn't seem accurate nor professional, and was more annoying than anything else.  It would be more effective to simply tell me what effect I'm having on other people.  If I'm not having the intended effect, then I will consider changing my style. 

When enough people have been perfected to the point we are ready to work on the “national infrastructure,” then let me know so I can join the discussion.

Ben, I don't have any problem with having my communication style criticized, but don't bother to analyze me in the process.  Your attempt didn't seem accurate nor professional, and was more annoying than anything else.  It would be more effective to simply tell me what effect I'm having on other people. 

Richard, I don't know what post you are referring to here.  I'm certainly not intending to annoy, and apologize for having done so.  Meanwhile, if you are open to requests for changing your style, I would love to see you start with dropping the sarcasm embodied in sentences like your final one above.

Meanwhile, let us recall that the Occupy Heart portion of our conversation is specifically about the inner dimensions of transformation.  We believe that any effort to create external change (something we also are happy to see discussed, and which we explicitly invite in the Vital Conversations portion of our conversations) will always invoke a corresponding internal dimension.  You're free to disagree of course, Richard.  But if you want a different conversation altogether, Occupy Heart isn't really the place.  

At the same time, I can't help but think that this very exchange is a fractal of the principle we espouse.  Interpersonal conflict is rearing up here and creating confusion and a drain on our energy that belies the fact that we are probably very closely aligned on the external change we seek.  Seems to me like a phenomenon we see all over the place.  And one that would be well worth our time and compassionate consideration to become skilled at overcoming.

Richard, your views have been stirring me also... First I react, but then there's quite a long process of examination... not just a critical one, but one that wants to learn something (I obviously need to learn) that furthers my somewhat hidden visceral purpose-- to be happy.  This mostly includes being on a shared beautiful earth with others in a world that is nice (kind, compassionate, loving, just, connected, harmonious...) and in this eliminate the suffering. 

Your words Richard, "A mass of unorganized people is just a mob, and – as such – are easily countered. Notice what little effect the demonstrations by millions of people had in preventing the first Gulf War. During the lead up to the second Gulf War, I think we were too demoralized to even try. I've already submitted a suggestion for a network structure where all have equal authority."

Its my experience when I look closely, that we get out of trouble the same way we got into trouble- in small steps.  Yet I recognize our competitive conditioning to expect 'fast' pay off in a race to succeed.  It baffles me how we can be affectionately critical of young people being so impetuous and impatient, while we older ones have intensified these traits in ourselves, applying them to now "more important" stuff and on a grander scale. 

Patience, resolve, kindness... are parts of the 'inner' journey for me... to confront my illogical conditioning (my propulsions) that want immediate gratification (somehow blindly hoping that'll bring happiness).  Honestly, right now I'm saying "Dyck, can you do what in your heart is right- be kind, be generous... and just wait for the world to 'get it' too?  What gives me the resolve I need when there is no score and there seems endless & deep challenge?  I don't know.

By the way... this process of sincere dialogue is the most challenging for me because it allows others to 'see' my conditioning... to see what I'm clinging-to as though I really know (the surer I am of something- the more chance its illusion).  And they ask or confront me on it... even though they have it too (isn't that everybody's way of sneaking up on their own shit?).  And I must (or have opportunity to) confront myself (my inner small self). 

I'm trying, for all you attackers (tongue-in-cheek), to see your intention or to see awesome intelligence finding itself.

First breakout on today's call:

Describe what collaboration means for you and  a meaningful collaboration you have had.

Scribing the harvest:

  • Global challenges, such as climate change, require a kind of collaboration we have not yet experienced before.  It's nice to "think globally," but it can be very abstract.
  • Importance of trust, and a willingness to go into the difficult territory that emerges.  Breakdowns are a generative part of the collaborative process.
  • How do we avoid "us versus them" thinking?
    • Do we need an "enemy?"  People say we need an attack from outer space to unite us!  What about the danger to our planet as a whole that currently exists as a result of the mega-crises we face? 
  • Conscious evolutionary thinking (e.g. Barbara Marx Hubbard): we can impact the "noosphere," even at a long distance.

Second breakout framing:

Imagine all national borders have been dissolved and we are all free to roam as global citizens... You are in a place with a highly diverse group of people--different languages, races, etc.  What comes up for you (in your body)?  What are your concerns?

Scribing responses:

  • Fear
  • "They won't love me"
  • This exists to some degree already, in cosmopolitan cities areound the world, as well as on line.  Language does remain a major challenge.
  • "I get really excited about the possibility of behaving in a different way, with less--or even the absence of-- fear."

Final question: if you were to engage in a collaborative endeavor with others in the Cafe, what might that be?

  • Creating a poster that captures some of the inspiring things being said here
  • "I like to push people's buttons, so I wonder if I could fit in anywhere"
  • Further developing a model I created with a friend, to get more minds on it.  It is for international development with three parts--getting the right balance between them is the key to the model.  1) tech, 2) human capital and 3) natural resources.  Premise=an interactive balance among them needs to happen.
  • Having all of us at a table with a canvas to add our own nuance to a painting, describing how the Occupy consciousness is coming to us. 
  • Working together to support specific on-the-ground initiatives that are models/demos for the New Economy and can serve as "proofs-of-concept" for what is possible globally. 
  • Bringing emotional education to children.

In order to consistently live from a motivation that's not arising from the personal ego, we need to be willing to let everything go--our wanting, needing, ideas, knowing, small agendas and stories about ourselves, the concerns of the narrow false self.  

Once we've cultivated this capacity to let go of all preference for anything in particular, we can more confidently discern the difference between an egoic impulse and one that's truly arising from the evolutionary self. Our agendas are in a sense purified when we practice this relinquishment....

We don't seek to remain in this state of letting go 24/7. In an evolutionary relationship to life, we don't aspire to live fundamentally from a place of no preference. But it's important all the same to make a regular practice of this stance. Having practiced it gives us tremendous clarity and, therefore, the ability to respond to life with much greater accuracy because we're not seeing through distorted lenses.


These are not my words, but I see and endorse the text as the synthesis, essence of worldview at the leading edge of American spirituality.

Immerse in the light of oneness > adjust our lenses > purify our agendas > respond to life with greater accuracy...

You observe exponential growth of such awareness:

I can offer that there has been an exponential rise in self awareness and capacity to be in more generative relationships.

If you were right the common agenda of response should be at least in the course of creation among those who are aware. Re-emergence from the experience of oneness should automatically bridge, generatively relate all of you already aware of being One.

I am a humble stranger in your world, I do not dream of participation. But show me the link to your common agenda please!  What is it you are trying to hammer me into? Am I asking the same question as Richard (inter- added to national)? Am I speaking about the same different actions as Dyck mentions?

Hi Pawel, I want to comment about what you asked... "But show me the link to your common agenda please!"

If you're truly sincere, or better yet you're longing with all your heart, as I am, to 'know' our common bond**... (re your stmt.)  Then, I would be happy to inquire into it with you and others.  If however, there is no longing in you to know right now, then I would have no energy to go into it. 

Without someones sense of longing or urgency, I would simply apply "there is a season for all things under the sun" (metaphor season = readiness) appropriately.  I don't know about humble, but we're all strangers under the same sun. Yet, if some strangers would be in 'other' worlds that know no seasons, or have longer seasons and die first, maybe this doesn't apply.

Regarding your other comment, I don't think I am mentally capable to clarify or even remember what I said about "...the same different actions as Dyck mentions?" you asked about.  Sorry.

** I use the term to 'know' in a holistic way.  It implies the direct not abstract experience (gestures, sensation) that demonstrate no separation between the thought and the action.  "Knowing is in the bones."

Reply by Dyck Dewid 21 hours ago:

***I wouldn't mind some time going into how actions would differ when derived from a focus of 'All Connected' versus 'We Against They" attitude.

Sorry Pawel, getting a little confused here.  My old mind can barely keep up... and right now its still on our most recent postings today.  This won't be there much longer either.  Good thing I don't have to deal with anything important. (that's a joke by the way).


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