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Monday, May 5, 2014

Moving beyond an insular exclusionary approach to creating higher collective consciousness

Moving beyond an insular exclusionary approach to 
creating higher collective consciousness

Part One: "What's wrong with this picture":

"Humanity needs to start living in expanded collective consciousness. We, the XYZ Group, are teaching people to do that, so if you want to learn it, join us!"

I'm writing this blog today out of sadness and bewilderment. I am aware of a lot of groups which are exploring, practicing, teaching, and facilitating the discovery, embodiment, living, and working in, a rapidly-expanding capacity of humanity involving collective emergent (not aggregate) consciousness. In the last 3-5 years, even the last 2 years, there is an explosion of interest in this way of living, articles and groups and mentions are constantly popping up into my attention from everywhere. Some have been happening a long time already, and many are rather new. It appears to me that explosion of interest is because the phenomenon of that expanding capacity is being experienced, directly, immediately, and spontaneously, by more and more people, most of whom don't even "know what hit them."

Another part of the background or context I am viewing all this from, is Paul Hawken's work, articulated awhile back in his 2007 book Blessed Unrest (and greatly elaborated ongoingly since then, see the websites http://www.blessedunrest.com and wiser.org,) in which he describes how tens or hundreds of thousands of GROUPS, all over the world, are each spontaneously arising to work toward a better world. He uses the metaphor of these groups as humanity's "immune system" cells activating naturally to improve humanity's failing health as a species on this planet.

Another part of the background or context is Arjuna Ardagh's sociological survey/description of expanding human consciousness, an expansion which is simply happening and which groups and individuals are both examples of and contributors to. (See The Translucent Revolution, 2004 and these references also.)

Those of us who monitor the way this global phenomenon shows up in/is active in/is exemplified in the people who are interested in Integral approaches to living, and to consciousness, see abundant interest: many groups, many experiments, many experiences showing up as part of other experiences (example from Integral Theory Conference 2013: Venita Ramirez, MA, Pacific Integral Geoff Fitch, MA, Pacific Integral, and Terri O’Fallon, PhD, Pacific Integral: Causal Leadership: A Natural Emergence from Later Stages of Awareness (p. 23 of this document) actually facilitated a group higher-consciousness we-space during their presentation.)

And in the wider circle of those interested in humanity's spiritual and environmental consciousness-expansion, there are easily visible a huge number of such groups and endeavors, often under the banner "We are One."

However, and here comes the sad part: For my taste, too many such groups and endeavors I run across, have a promotional/marketing self-description/message which runs along these lines:

"The world needs a new consciousness. Our group is starting that. If you want it, join us."

Their message is not:

"The world is developing a new consciousness. Our group is among those teaching that. If you like our particular approach, join us." 

Which of those messages "walks the talk" of emergent collective consciousness and "higher consciousness we-space"??????

Because some of the former type are actually among the groups I think are doing the best work toward the expansion and deepening/embodiment of this capacity of human consciousness, I feel awkward about citing examples of their wording or promotional materials. But they do include some of Ken Wilber's recent talks (such as that at the Integral Living Room, November 1, 2013) and they do include much of the promotional messaging of the Evolutionary Collective work of Patricia Albere and Jeff Carreira, (especially the email to their mailing list on March 30, 2014, which triggered this blog) among MANY others. I treasure, admire, and value the work of those two groups, they are among my "top 5 facilitators of higher collective consciousness." But in their languaging, something ofen feels to me to be "off." There's a discrepancy between the medium and the message, or between the end and the means. On the wider front, I sense this exclusionary languaging sometimes in what Barbara Marx Hubbard puts out, as valuable as I think her work is in helping to create a better world, and as much as I admire her awesome dedication over the decades.

I would like to simply alert you to this aspect or dimension of self-descriptions of their work, by groups who are working toward a better world. Notice whether their languaging implies (by omission of mention of others or the larger context) that they are IT for humanity, they are the ONLY ones working toward their goal. Or whether their languaging acknowledges their context, their many peer groups, the worldwide evolution in which their particular endeavor plays A role, but not THE role.

Among those I could cite who are in my opinion "walking the talk" is Pacific Integral. Check out this languaging from here on their website:

In all facets of human life, we are seeing a new consciousness and social order emerging. Compassionate, skillful, visionary individuals with an emerging global awareness are finding each other, building communication networks, and forming collaborative partnerships to bring about new more effective, sustainable and equitable approaches to human existence. We serve this emerging consciousness by convening and supporting extraordinary individuals who are ready to step into their fullness as practitioners and leaders.
Our approach is based on decades of combined experience in transformative education, psychology, business, research, information technology and contemplative practice. In our intent is to be profoundly agile with the flow of humanity and its consciousness, fresh and alive in accordance with the circumstances at hand. We offer transformative education, organizational consulting, leadership development, research, coaching, communities of practice, and written publications.
Since Pacific Integral’s inception in 2004, we have developed an unique and powerful approach to supporting the emergence of this new form of consciousness and action in the world that centers around five key dimensions....

Pacific Integral is a developer of educational and social change technologies and a global community of leaders and practitioners of transformative change. We aim to support the emergence of a sustainable, equitable and beautiful future for humanity and all of creation. We believe that humanity is in the midst of a profound period of change, and that addressing the opportunities of our time require that we embrace universal human values and ethical action, awaken to and engage in our evolutionary potential, and enact more conscious, integral forms of leadership and collective action in the world, grounded in our deepest wisdom. To this end, we endeavor to impact human development, leadership, and social change at the emergent edge of consciousness and action.

And another example of inclusionary languaging is from http://globaltransformingensemble.org/

The Global Transforming Ensemble is a passionate group of visionary leaders committed to accelerating societal transformation and enhancing community vibrancy through presence-centered evolutionary leadershipworldwide. The Ensemble conducts and disseminates research on emerging forms of leadership, and provides workshops and other services to cultivate the highest octaves of leadership potential. The Ensemble collaborates with individuals and networks that share a similar vision and promotes a widely accessible, open-source leadership commons intended to catalyze development of more evolved leaders across the globe.


To identify, encourage, link, and support at least one million people worldwide in living presence-centered evolutionary leadership by December 2012—thus enhancing community vibrancy and accelerating societal transformation.
Edited in on May 8:

And here's a third shining example of the kind of inclusive, context-acknowledging, peer-acknowledging wording I would love to see more often, this from the San Fransisco Bay Area "WEpractice" group.

Relational Spiritual Practice (RSP) is an emergent phenomena during our times. We are influenced by a number of teachers and scholars who have been on the forefront of this movement including: Thomas Hübl, Diane Hamilton, David Deida, Andrew Cohen, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Terry Patten, Craig Hamilton, and Olen Gunnlaugson, among others. All of these teachers have recognized novel ways to make relationship a portal to awakening. WEpractice has been a group experimenting in this area for nearly three years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In no way are we presuming to be solitary pioneers of this work; rather, we are stewards and explorers in our neck of the woods.

I am deliberately not speculating much as to cause of this discrepancy except to suggest it MIGHT simply be a phase of maturing out of an insular, exclusionary worldview, and out of decades of FEELING like "the lone wolf" or more accurately, like "the voice crying in the wilderness" to a humanity which is deaf, and out of not being able to hear the chorus of OTHER lone wolves doing the same thing at the same time. However, nowadays, such ignorance has to be increasingly a choice to not perceive others. Why?

Why? My one other speculation is the need for funding of each endeavor, which incentivizes an insular approach, "we are THE ones doing this, so if you want the goal of a better world, fund us, buy us."

So my purpose for this blog is simply to raise the reader's awareness around this distinction, and I intend that awareness to ripple out in beneficial but unpredictable ways.

And lest you point out that I am demonstrating the very blindness or discrepancy I point to, by not citing others who have spotted this discrepancy, I will say that I am sure there are others beginning to be aware of this discrepancy AND I have not run across more than a portion of a sentence from one or two people once or twice, showing awareness of it.

And I would MORE than welcome, examples you know of: people/groups who are teaching collective consciousness of some way, shape, or form, who explicitly acknowledge they are already part of a planetary-wide happening in which there are others also, simultaneously, making valuable contributions to the teaching/learning/practicing.

This particular blogpost of mine is meant to be complementary to George Por's current and near-future writing about the Integral-related "trailblazing practice communities" of higher-consciousness we-space/collective intelligence. http://blogofcollectiveintelligence.com/2014/01/31/the-emergence-of-higher-we-spaces/      

Just to make my ultimate goal totally clear: These groups sabotage their own planetary-scale success by staying blind to others, because a planetary collective consciousness requires these groups to not just synergize, but far beyond that: to become elements, ingredients, unique selves within the emergent collective consciousness which is the planet herself, not just humanity, but all living things and all sentient energies.

I'm eager to see us move into the next phase, transcending this insular, exclusionary approach which undercuts and sabotages the very thing being taught and encouraged! Gathering whatever wisdom this internally inconsistent phase has to offer, and MOVING ON!! As Terri O'Fallon is fond of saying, "Waking up, growing up."

Part Two: Moving toward inclusionary relating

Part One was based partly on my response to public languaging by various higher-consciousness we-space practice groups, and partly on what little personal knowledge I have of their relationships among one another.

I suspect the leaders of these Integral-related groups are far more collaborative than I am aware of -- even though I am a participant in some of them -- based on how they co-teach, or interview one another, etc. However, it seems to me that these interactions all-too-rarely reach the level of public languaging along the lines of

"X group is doing xyz, and we're building on that going in a different direction by doing abc."

So for whatever usefulness it might be as a guide to viewing increasing kinds and amounts of interacting, I have generated a spectrum of kinds/degrees of interactions these groups might have. These are not in exact sequence; there is more of a building of closeness as the list goes down.

At present, among the over-a-dozen groups around the world exploring higher-consciousness we-spaces based on or related to Integral ideas, only a handful are more than a third of the way along this spectrum as far as I am aware, granted my awareness is extremely limited; please comment on instances you know of!

Framework for the sake of relatively simple wording, is Group A and Group B. Group structures vary a lot, but perhaps this framework can be adapted.

Someone(s) (leaders or participants) in Group A are aware of Group B.

Participant or leader in A mentions B in public.

Folks in A and B are in contact with one another, perhaps via email or members who know each other. Or group leaders simply know each other, perhaps even interview each other.

Participant or leader in A mentions B's work in general in public as relevant to A's we-space work. "B is working on this area too."

A references specifics or particulars of B's work in public, as related to A's work. "B does this or that specific."

A compares or cross-references generals or particulars of B's work, in public, as related to A's work. "B does this or that compared to our doing that or this."

Leaders and participants in A and B are in general communication with one another. 

A and B are in dialogue with one another.

A incorporates some of B's specifics or generalities in their own work, and acknowledges this to B and the public.

A actually builds further into the development of higher we-space capacities based on B's work and acknowledges this in public and to B.

A and B are in collaborative communication, with the shared intention of enriching one another's work. This can be facilitated by shared members.

A and B engage in real-time collaboration such as co-teaching, merged group meetings and practices, co-writing

When higher-consciousness we-space practitioners A and B begin to operate as a single conscious we-space, privately and publically, THEN they are indeed "walking their talk" in my view!

The "object of the game" that you would like, I think, and me too, is for every group to be both an A and a B to every other group!!!!! And be moving along this spectrum!!!!!!

What do you think?

As usual, I welcome, invite, solicit, and request, comments and dialogue!!!!

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