Do you feel like howling in protest at the electoral system's failure to meet the challenges of our times? Whether it's the behavior or philosophy of one candidate or the other, the limits of the two party duopoly, the corrupting influence of big money, the possibility that our votes won't be accurately counted, or some other aspect of this absurd circus, reasons for feeling frustrated, anxious, angry and fearful abound.

Join us for a conversation where we discharge our difficult emotions and then think together about what might be possible to create an electoral system that works, as well as ways to move from being passive "consumers" of political leadership to active citizens co-creating our future.

We are beginning our inquiry here on the forum, and then continuing with our regular Monday Cafe Call on October 29:

Register for our Monday Vital Conversation Series
8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT

This theme will also inform our Tuesday "Connect2012" and Thursday "Occupy Heart" calls.

We can start with the following questions:

  • What is the story about this election that you hear yourself most often telling?  The one that you are wedded to and maybe even take your identity from?*
  • What are the payoffs you receive from holding onto this story?*

*Question framing from Peter Block's Community: The Structure of Belonging

Photo courtesy of the Group Works Deck

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You made three points and they may well be valid.   I am sorry but I do not understand any of the three.  Can you clarify a bit?

1. It has been expressed by Albert Einstein much better than I can do it (two different versions of the quote at :

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

2. Once we understood his thought we could possibly sit down together and create the common worldview free of the delusion and use it to interact, as reference standard, with our individual, so far imprisoned worldviews. In 1950, when Einstein wrote it, internet did not exist, it was not possible.

3. I can refer to many moments here @ OC to support my opinion that “they are not eager”. The last one was on Saturday,  when I asked Jittendra:

Jittendra, you said:  “The loss of freedom comes because one can't see the fishbowl in which he or she is contained.”

Could you extend this particular statement? Seeing or not seeing the fishbowl shapes the set of one's illusions only - the fact of being contained is a given.
If I may refer to my answer on Collaboration thread: freedom should not be the sacred rune, IMHO limits of our individual and collective freedom should be subject of discussion leading to an agreement.

And there was no answer.

You wrote, "Seeing or not seeing the fishbowl shapes the set of one's illlusions.only - the fact of being contained is a given".  

Yes, that is the story that I tell also.  

That we ARE contained within the cultural story.  For instance, regarding language,  If we truly were not contained by English-as-a-fishbowl, say, then I could ask you to speak to me in ancient Swedish and you would be able to.  That you can not points to the confinement.

Even though I am not free... and will never be free... of the 'background constraints of my culture (the fishbowl) I become wiser and freer when I can spot them... and then... wisely... choose for them to be there.   That choosing shifts me from being a victim to the chooser. That choosing of what IS is what makes me free.

And this is my answer... for now.  

Harvey, with care and uncertainty I ask... do you think even children cannot attune and sense the instructive quality of code talk?

Wow, Pawel... knock my socks off with this honesty, if I'm reading you right.  You probably have been saying it all along but I'm just now hearing it clearly. 

Why shouldn't we all have the 'company'-- the soul connections with others.  Life is such a difficult and maybe frightening journey so common to us all, no?. This seems so very healthy and universal motivation like flying south...  to seek unity-- and not pretend we're alone & separate.  Yet few ever speak it.  I love flying south... with you Pawel.  Others will join us. 

BTW, the only framework of OC is imposed from within ourselves (lets push Ben & Jitendra... they'll really love it).

PS, I don't know why I have had difficulty understanding some of what you write, Pawel. It feels like sometimes there is connective tissue missing from your points (contextually relevant to prior comment or topic)... I sense this is due to assuming I am seeing what YOU are seeing.  But, this is no condemnation at all.  It is rather intended as a mirror... an affectionate one. ...over.

Dick,  I am of the belief that children not only CAN attune, but do constantly attune... to the underlying emotion and attitudes that underlies his/her parents actual words.  And I suspect that such attunement begins well before birth.   

This kind of thinking seems consistent with what I read of developmental psychology, with what I was taught in medical school... and it just feels right to me.

I am not familiar with the precise term you used - 'the instructive quality of code talk.', however.  What say you in the matter?

Sorry Harvey and Pawel, I don't think I can get back the connection of "the instructive quality of code talk'.... but it sounds pretty catchy, no?

In the spirit of 'inquiry' and 'learning' it seems obvious to me that humans have an unrecognized capacity to 'know'.  For example, that when we are being taught (by teachers, parents, society) it is really code for: "this is the way we solve or avoid our problems, this is 'normal', etc.. which is NOT necessarily truth or reality.  My feeling is that even young children know this on some inner plain. We stay in this fishbowl until we're ready to break out (& that starts the wake up process). 

I use the term 'ready' purposely instead of choice (readiness sounds a lot longer & more difficult than just making a choice, doesn't it?). I like the metaphor prison better because it has a cell door (mostly imagined w/o a lock) and when you're ready you just walk out (or stick a toe out).

The journey of knowing myself begins, not in seeing the fishbowl as created by others as my example explains.  I see my journey beginning in my prison constructed of subtle curtains of my own ignorance...  a progression driven my longing for reality and truth.  

Dyck, thank you for this positive feedback, I really needed some energy to continue. Ben's dialogue about choice "to vote or not to vote" is good grounds for further push:-) after elections. I am getting ready. BTW, the missing connective tissue IS my point, I am happy I have finally met somebody sensitive enough to grasp the issue.

In the meanwhile I support Harvey's question, your answer would be helpful...

 Pawel, to give my comment, and for continuity I copied from your previous post first.

"Real and meaningful change for good comes when WE THE PEOPLE stand, speak and act together, cooperatively and collaboratively."

For me it implies the process (of change) and the group (deserving to be named We The People). Or maybe consecutive processes: building the group, writing together the next act of global play, playing it. ......

My frustration must have begun in January, when the discussion Let's Get the Problem Definition Right has come to an end with no effect. Within my logic (well, I know it is fuzzy) common problem definition should be the starting point.

Your answer has made me understand what I have been doing @ OC since then: seeking another point of attachment to grasp the direction of the movement you represent, aware of the fact that I must choose to accept/not accept your choice of the direction (you represent some kind of potential or power, I am a lonely stranger).

Yes, I am frustrated because I can identify neither the direction of possible change in the café space, nor th.....

Summary: the concept of stewardship makes me think about voyage and a ship. Where is your (space)ship going? I cannot choose to get on board unless I know!

I see in your post, some assumptions I challenge... some may be true, some false.  All are stimulating.  When I'm awake enough to question them (difficult to see my own tho) they become a rich source of exploration.  Born of cherished and useful attributes of an active and creative mind, 'assumptions' can surely lead us down the garden path.  At the level of these dialogues there are so many paradoxes and complexity that holding on too tightly to any assumptions can be fatal... or at least uncomfortable.  Albeit, they seem a ripe source of most confusion in relationships and communications.

My first example of this is in your at the start, when you say "change implies a process." That may be true, but there's more to it, like... 'changes in the nature'. You might say she has a process that's incomprehensible. Or, you might say she has no process.  But, this implies to me that we might hold open our ideas of 'processes' when there is so much we don't understand.  I acknowledge people have left-brained and right-brained-driven propensities but also see most of us have whole brains in us and also have each other to lean on. 

Another example is in your comment (the group) "deserving to be called We The People." This implies there are some 'deserving' people and some not. This is a fundamental assumption that we are NOT all equal.  WOW!  It is a gift of a challenge to me.  It would be of great use to explore this because it is so easy for us to default on the opposite assumption (which I think I have) that we ARE all equal (yet don't reflect it so much in our behaviors toward one another)... when it might be a cliche.

Assumption: "it is impossible to solve a problem without a defined process." One Rival: what if the process IS what will define the outcome (think about a child's play).  What if the problem it too overwhelming to grasp using what we've been taught... and needs creativity & innocence (again think play)?  

Assumption: "I need to have a direction..." One Rival: What if we aren't able to define 'a problem' because its too diffuse or subjective?  What if we need to solve something backwards... that is, we 'intelligently' view what's going on to see what kind of problems it might create... or, we 'discover' connections of various 'important' things to understand relationships so that we can create a 'right' question?  And, what if part of the 'process' is trusting or faith... such as crossing a rapidly flowing stream. And you can't see all the rocks that you will need to jump to from shore... you won't find the next stepping stone until you on one.

Hope you see this as not 'loaded' with 'my superiority' as you are perfectly welcomed to challenge any of my assumptions.  This response woke me up to be sensitive to assumptions and to not let them get away with anything they don't deserve.

Dyck, the idea that propels me is the dynamic collective thinking. I have no answers ready, pls give me time to formulate them.

For immediate feedback:

In the spirit of 'inquiry' and 'learning' it seems obvious to me that humans have an unrecognized capacity to 'know'.

Can it be our first common assumption?

Another example is in your comment (the group) "deserving to be called We The People." This implies there are some 'deserving' people and some not. This is a fundamental assumption that we are NOT all equal.

I assume we are all equal in the sense of "Oneness ready". Deserving to be called "We the people" means for me the conscious choice: to actively create Oneness network, structure and code (of communication).

Dyck, may I ask (do not answer if you are not ready):

What do you feel reading Meg Wheatley quotes posted by Ben?

I don't usually read books others recommend.  The best way for anyone to suggest I 'know' something is to demonstrate how they understand & live it.  Quoting is fine but in my construct the quotation DOES NOT imply the writer knows it too... so there is no gain in credibility, if that is their purpose.  Ben DOES demonstrate understanding of Wheatley's work and I don't yet feel a need to read the whole work.

I realize that when people refer a book, they are telling me what is significant TO THEM.  I take this as a positive sign of growth.  I know that I cannot participate in their growth... only in my own (& what is relevant to me).


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.

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