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Friday, December 8, 2017

What Makes a Community?

What Makes a Community?

While this post isn't specifically about exploring Second and Third Tier, it contains a wealth of information useful for satisfying the longing for "community" that is so widespread among everyone--and that is especially poignant for those on the fringes of societal mainstream, like most readers here.

Some of the information is old, as I have copied this from a private blog in an online forum that I did back when, but I offer it in the spirit of helpfulness, and would love to hear how you use it. 
For some reflections more specifically on Second and Third Tier "community" you might check out these other blogposts:
Exploring Group Shadows of Teal Groups/Organizations
How Second Tier Functioning Might Show Up in Group Processes
or any others with the tag "we-space" or "groups"
Original exploration around the concept of community:
Are we really a community, or are we just a collection of people who choose to be in the same section of cyberspace? How can we know whether we are a community or a collection? And does it make any difference?? Well, if it makes a difference to you, please read here and add your perspectives and preferences.

The people riding a bus are not a community. The people viewing a movie in a theatre are not a community. The cast of a play might or might not be a community. A family might or might not be a community. 
The people living in the same town are called "a community" but are they always? The people in a church might or might not be a community. The people within a business might or might not be a community, usually not. A sports team might or might not be a community. A social club or common-interest group (which perhaps we are the closest to) might or might not be a community. 
An organization gathered "for a cause" might or might not be a community. Sometimes a collection, like people on the same cruise ship, can become what might be called a "community" in an emergency they face together.

Reasons for thinking about definitions of community: What would be benefits of this exploration be, for our community??

I think it would be very worthwhile for us together to look at some definitions of "community", because the more we know about who we are, the easier it might be to come up with our Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Values which are the foundation for our co-created structure and processes.

Another reason for arriving at a common shared definition of our community-ness is so new people can sense whether they belong here, and can have realistic expectations for what their experiences here might be, so they don't end up disappointed because we aren't the "kind of community" they were expecting us to be. 
Obviously, with so many diverse meanings to the term (see below) there is plenty of room for clashing expectations of who we are. Some commonality would promote harmony here.

Different kinds of community, and what makes a community?

Everything below is from Wikipedia. I have bolded the ideas or phrases which I personally feel are most relevant to the kind of community we are or could become, and it's easy to get lost in so many options described, but I believe it's worth reading them so we understand the CONTEXT in which our Community might exist. We can know more about the kind of community we have chosen to be, out of the many options available to us.

Here's Wikipedia's summary of the concept of "community" (and longer discussion) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community  [links have been stripped in the copying and pasting process and footnote numbers have been removed as distracting in this post.]

In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting species sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why Green is not just a minor transition phase between Orange and Teal

Why Green is not just a minor transition phase between Orange and Yellow/Teal*

I hear some folks interested in Teal organizations who are suggesting the view that Green is not a true stage of development but merely a transition phase. That view wouldn't be tenable after reading the original Spiral Dynamics book, in my opinion, but short of such a reading, here's my own attempt to respond, out of my own distress.

I've been distressed hearing that view because I feel it is dangerous: it will cause failure and suffering for those who attempt to live by it.** I'd like to try to articulate why I feel that way. I haven't the bandwidth now to go hunting for examples, but they are visible in the pages of Enlivening Edge Magazine. Perhaps you, a reader, can make a comment below with one.

Green is not only a full stage, it is the necessary foundation of the Teal stage. Green is the capstone of the First Tier, and the only basis from which one can move fully and healthily  into Second Tier's first stage, which is Yellow/Teal. It is the only healthy springboard into Second-Tier consciousness.

I think to view Green as a mere phase is to not fully "get" the huge difference between 1st and 2nd Tier, and the role of Green in making that difference possible. Green is where the heart comes online in human development, put most simply. It is a radical expansion of the capability of a wide circle of concern. It is, we could say, a huge move in widening individual ego's scope of concern, awareness, and care. 

Without that foundation, one cannot truly move into the scope of care and concern and awareness required for the leap into Teal/Second Tier, which involves building on that concern with wider systems-awareness, but with a quantum leap beyond any previous stage leap.

That's why Graves called it a Tier leap, not a stage development, between Green and Teal. Green still has the right-wrong, either-or mentality, despite how inclusive its values are. Green is, for example, very intolerant of intolerance. Teal and 2nd Tier is where inconsistencies like that disappear, for the first time in human development. Teal is the first FULL universality of care and concern. Because others are fully real in their wholeness, Teal develops a "both-and" synergistic approach to life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exploring "Promises" Through the Spiral of Development

Exploring "Promises" 
Through the Spiral of Development

(Here, Teal = Yellow.)
Here's a riff to continue a conversation I'm having with friends!
On page 34 of his book Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community:Changing the Nature of the Conversation, outlining the A Small Group process, Peter Block says
“Promises that matter are made to peers, not those made to those who have power over us (parents, bosses, leaders). The future is created through the exchange of promises at the local level with whom we have to live out the intentions of the change.
It is to these people that we give our commitments, and it is they who decide if our offer is enough – for the person and for the institution. Peers have the right to declare that the promise made is not enough to serve the interests of the whole. As in each act of refusal, this is the beginning of a longer conversation.”
He also says:
"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. The distinction is between a promise made for its own sake and a barter agreement. Barter is an exchange of agreements that are contingent on the actions of another. I will do this if you will do that. This means that we hold an out for ourselves dependent on whether other people fulfill their part of the bargain. This reciprocity works as an element of commerce. It falls short of the level of commitment that creates a new future.
The declaration of a promise is the form that commitment takes and is the action that initiates change. The word promise brings a sacred element into the conversation and this is what generates power and new energy."
Promises in First Tier Worldviews:

In my view, this is healthy Green-consciousness, coming out from healthy Orange. The value of keeping one's word starts with the Red emphasis on loyalty, sworn oaths of allegiance. It moves in Blue as dedication/loyalty to the authority and the "cause," being an unquestioning part of the "us."

Particularly Orange emphasizes making and keeping agreements with equals, as "contracts between individuals" are the basis for many relationships within Orange. The system of Orange-consciousness in society depends on people keeping their word, doing what they said they would do, being honest, etc. That's basic to healthy Orange; as Block said it, reciprocity works as an element of commerce.

In my view, the wording used by Block takes it into Green by talking about creating the future (the implication is, TOGETHER,) and "peers with whom we have to live out the intentions...."  

The phrase "the interests of the whole" probably shades into Yellow/Teal, but IMO just dipping the toe in. In fact, it might even be a Blue "shadow," if the interests of the whole are viewed as opposed to the interests of the individual! Yellow/Teal knows how to harmonize those interests.

What is the social function of promises?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Exploring Group Shadows of Teal Groups/Organizations

Exploring Group Shadows of 
Teal Groups/Organizations

Here is a checklist of some Teal-group shadows I have observed over the years. A group shadow is a pattern of group interactions (involving some or all the group members) which can be observed to be detrimental to the well-being of the group and to its actions/results/expression of its Evolutionary Purpose. 

These are patterns I've seen and experienced in groups nominally or even predominantly operating in Teal/Yellow consciousness. At the end below, I talk briefly about how this list might be USED by a group.

The list is not in any particular order.


1. Someone comes up with a tension and others assume or discern it is individual, "from ego," or "defensive," instead of actually looking to see whether it is indeed a systemic/group matter/tension. It could be valid and useful for the group to consider EVEN IF the individual is coming from ego-shadow. Both-and, not either-or. By "shooting the messenger" down (into silenced invalidation) without reflecting, potential collective intelligence is lost.

2. Individuals in a self-management environment are often still tethered to old habits of consciousness/behavior, and, for example, seek consensus before acting (Green) or seek permission before acting (Orange.) This becomes a group shadow if others, due to their own individual shadows, don't realize this and call attention to it. 
One effect detrimental to the group is that things don't get done even though they might have been good for the group. Also, the self-inhibiting breeds resentment in those who won't act without consensus or permission; that contaminates the relational space and reduces their enthusiasm for contributing to the thriving of the whole group.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beyond Teal Organizations - What might a Turquoise organization be like - Part 2

Beyond Teal Organizations  -
What might a Turquoise organization be like - Part 2

Same topic as Part 1 of this exploration, different day, different angles.
I begin this exploration by saying that my descriptions are based on my actual experience as a participant in one organization and a number of groups operating from the Turquoise stage of consciousness -- experience over the last 5 years. I have also read about and heard about many other such groups, and a couple of organizations. So this description is not simply abstract theoretical conjecture.

Anyone exploring "Teal" stage of organizational consciousness probably has their own speculations, possibly based on enough experience within predominantly Teal organizations to both sense the limits of that stage, and the wonderful new characteristics emerging here and there, now and then. 
So this little bare beginning to meant as a conversation-starter, a catalyst, an invitation to sense into your own notion about what a Turquoise organizational consciousness might be like, and share that, so that we move along thereby to strengthen the Morphic Field/creative template of that which is available to humanity, hastening the day it appears in more of our experiences! 

I'm also interested in gathering stories about the "limits" experienced in organizations predominantly at Teal consciousness which prompt the evolution toward Turquoise functioning.

The "reality" in which the organization operates shifts, from people-actions-objects-relationships to fields of subtle creative energy which are the same as aliveness/consciousness and in which people, actions, relationships, and objects are expressions of the Purposes of Morphic Fields of conscious creative subtle energy. Those purposes are not fully knowable by the humans.

The organization metaphor is now Morphic Field.

The three breakthroughs might be:
1. Wholeness of individuals uplevels to Embeddedness/Connectivity/Oneness/Shared consciousness/Wholeness of the organization and its context-environment and the world/Kosmos.
2. Evolutionary Purpose uplevels to Transpersonal/Cosmic Purpose
3. Self-Management uplevels to Flow/Shared Consciousness
"The emergent future" becomes the touchstone for what people choose to sense and what guides actions, but actions are not "decided on," they flow as natural impulses and inclinations.

Coordination of actions and decisions for Purpose is done not in conscious awareness but in "super-conscious" or in the shared morphic field of awareness. This results in constant usual synchronicities and "miracles."

Beyond Teal Organizations - What might a Turquoise organization be like - Part 1

Beyond Teal Organizations -
What might a Turquoise organization be like - Part 1

The context for this exploration is the massive global movement energized by the publishing of Frederic Laloux's book Reinventing Organizations, in which, using Ken Wilber's developmental framework terminology, he traces stages of development of organizational consciousness through Teal/Yellow/Integral, characterizing the positive breakthroughs of each stage compared to the previous one.

Now "going Teal" is all the rage, and it might be time to take an exploratory peek ahead. What is the "next stage" after "the next stage?" What might a Turquoise organization be like? What might be the "Turquoise breakthroughs?" And what limits on Teal would prompt those?

Let's explore these questions. This is a helicopter trip around the tip of an iceberg. So much more could be said. But it's a question which is going to begin to arise as more and more organizations move toward Teal as their "next-stage consciousness." What's the "next stage" after Teal? 

Laloux's "breakthroughs" of each stage of organizational consciousness were discerned empirically, by his observing organizations and forming generalizations. There are really few Turquoise organizations, but I know of two, and am part of one, and have observed any number of Turquoise groups, so my descriptions are formed empirically from generalizing also. The descriptions might be sharper, probably are even "missing the point" in some ways. But I offer them as a springboard for those who think they might be moving beyond Teal somehow, and want a bit of a map to the new territory. (This video is Ken Wilber's delightful description of the functions and limitations of (verbal) maps of new territories of consciousness.)

My fervent hope would be for some map-makers to engage with one another to chart THIS territory as well. Some excellent maps already exist in the many articles and books emerging on "Higher We-spaces" from within the Integral community; those can easily be transferred to guiding us within new organizational territories. I'm just making a tiny beginning of doing that.

If the overall metaphor for a Teal organization is "a living system," then the overall metaphor for a Turquoise organization might be "a web/morphic field of consciousness."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Exploring Exploration: Contemplation vs Inquiry

Exploring Exploration: Contemplation vs Inquiry

There are of course many ways to "explore" something. In the realm of the "subtle," (as distinguished from "concrete" or "empty/causal") both contemplation and inquiry are often used, particularly as spiritual practices in "spiritual" explorations. I've found it useful to make a distinction between contemplation and inquiry, though they are often equated, so here's my exploration of the difference, for whatever value that might be to you.

In a nutshell, "contemplation" is simply resting attention on a single object: a person, thing, situation, concept, emotion, sensation, and returning attention to that, when it wanders, and allowing whatever arises in awareness, to be noted. Inquiry, on the other hand, is the same thing, but with a question in mind, as a focus, a question to which attention is returned when it wanders, and noting whatever "answers" to the question arise.

Contemplation is NOT the kind of single-focus attention used by some meditators to "quiet the mind." In this kind of contemplation, there is no effort to quiet the mind. Simply quiet openness, in which busy-mind arises and operates, or not. The "yang" aspect is the returning to quiet openness of awareness, when attention is discovered to have "narrowed" or "wandered" but it's not the same as "I must not be thinking thoughts."Nor is it the same as the "thoughts are clouds passing in the sky" of mindfulness meditation, because whatever particular arises in contemplation is of interest; it's just something to make note of, however, not to mull about or think about during the time of contemplation.

I've found contemplation very useful for exploring places I feel stuck in my spiritual growth. For example, a long-term contemplation of the single word/concept "suffering" has yielded awesome insights and catalyzed wonderful non-verbal shifts.

Inquiry is more structured because of the grammar of a multi-word question. However, beyond that, it's basically the same. Attention rests, things arise and pass, the question gets repeated. Answers appear, and are noted, but not "chewed and digested." I have found inquiry to be very useful, also, with a different flavor, and different results, from simpler contemplation.

Both can be combined with writing, though inquiry lends itself to writing better. The challenge is that what arises in both inquiry and contemplation can be non-verbal, and can often be most useful to own's growth if left that way, rather than worded. However, a stream-of-consciousness writing of an inquiry can be extraordinarily useful, especially if the question is allowed to shift, flow, and morph into other questions, according to what arises. Pursuing a natural series of questions "down the rabbit hole" can unravel a lot of tangled thinking, in my experience!

The spiritual teacher Adyashanti called this distinction to my attention. Brief descriptions from his book The Way of Liberation, are these:

(These are isolated sentences excerpted from pages 26ff.)


     To hold a question inwardly in silent and patient waiting....

     Although rooted in stillness, inquiry is the dynamic counterpoint to True      Meditation. Meditation is soft, allowing surrender, while Inquiry demands bold and fearless questioning.

     ...Inquiry belongs entirely to the realm of the soul, [rather than [my words] separate-sense-of-self-ego drives] that dimension of being born of stillness and light that seeks Truth for its own sake.

     [The most-recommended inquiry question is Who am I? or What am I.]

     Inquiry clears away misperceptions and illusions, making one available to the movements of grace.

     Investigate each question slowly and deliberately. Place each question into the stillness of your being. Do not grasp for quick answers. Do not jump to conclusions. Instead, let each question reveal your hidden beliefs and opinions.

     Bring each question the mind poses into the ground of stillness. Meditate on it, ponder it; take your time. Don't answer it with your mind. Be still with only the question. Be very, very still.

     [Truth] is simply awaiting recognition.

     Question your thoughts. Question your stories. Question your assumptions. Question your opinions. Question your conclusions. Question them all into utter emptiness, stillness, and joy. The keys to freedom are in your hands. Use them.

He goes on for several more pages about Inquiry.


About Contemplation, he says (pages 31ff.)

     Contemplation is the art of holding a word or a phrase patiently in the silence and stillness of awareness until it begins to disclose deeper and deeper meanings and understandings.

     [Contemplation transcends logical and linear thought, and opens us to wisdom and Truth as revelation.]

     Take a short phrase as your object of contemplation and simply hold it in your awareness for some time. Do not analyze or philosophize about it. And do not get lost in your imagination either. Just hold the phrase in awareness. Then be still. Let its meaning germinate within you. Then bring the word or phrase back into awareness again. Hold it there for some time, then let it go and be still again. With a little practice you will get the hang of it and find your own rhythm.

He goes on to suggest many thoughts, phrases, words which are exceptionally fruitful for spiritual growth, using contemplation and inquiry.

What is your experience with these methods? Does the distinction seem useful to you? Comments invited below!

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, 
Amplifying Divine Light in All Church

"Amplifying Divine Light in All" is a completely independent church fostering empowerment of people to co-create loving, thriving God-realized lives, and wellbeing for everyone, on a clean, peaceful Earth.
Our main religious purpose and mission is to amplify the Divine Light in everyone. When you read this blogpost, you will agree or disagree with its various points, and find new insights, and then you will know more about what is true for you. Knowing more of your own Truth amplifies your Divine Light. Thus providing/presenting this blogpost is one way for us to accomplish our purpose and mission.
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