This newsletter is published quarterly using a cycle of perspectives on the Integral City viewed from: Planet, People, Place and Power. The theme of this issue is Power.
The concept of morphic or Akashic fields creates the possibility that we could harness the intelligence that is concentrated in the city to generate much greater (more complex) intelligence capacities than we have ever dreamed of. If we could truly learn how to think together, we could harness the massive leverage of parallel processing that has enabled us to design modern computers and neural networks (like the linking of personal computers for the SETI extraterrestrial life search project). If we can do this, we will see a significant phase shift in human intelligence that will give cities major new incentives to create optimal life conditions to better support human existence. By the same token, in an optimistic spirit, I anticipate that when this intelligence is harnessed we will finally have the power to add value to life on Earth that is both sustainable (not over-using resources) and emergent (always creating new capacities from existing resources).
Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 73
Solstice Reflections on the Spirit of the City
Cities, like beehives, are urban energetic nodes linked within a global energetic body, which we experience biophysically, psychologically, culturally and socially. After I published Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive,readers asked, where is the chapter on spirituality?
The first time I heard the question I was stunned! Mostly because I felt the entire book had been written for, by and as Spirit. It was an outpouring of appreciation for the mystery of Spirit manifested in the city – its power to change individual and family lives, create organic chains of interconnected organizations and alter the landscapes of eco-regions.
The Light of cities can be seen from space. As this light emanates from our cities outward from the planet, I think of them as power exchanges that light up the face of the Kosmos – the bright evidence of humans, who have evolved as Gaia’s reflective organs, showing the Kosmos reflecting on herself.
I love the pivot points of Winter and Summer Solstice that remind us of how the Light that touches the planet has the power to influence our relationship to Spirit. In the southern hemisphere solstice celebrations revel in the longest day of summer, and in the north, we turn on the power to our Christmas decorations, to Light up the longest night. It’s as though the interconnected net of cities in the north and south swings on a Yin and Yang energy flow that shifts the power of Light to Light the power of city Spirit around the world.
Perhaps it is this bi-seasonal pulse that flowed through my energetic body and lighted the Spirit of the Integral City to come to life in the book?
(PS: For an exploration of Spirituality in the Human Hive – check out the peer reviewed article in the Resources section below.)
December Solstice: Mystery of City Spirit
Cities generate habitats for Love!!. People come to love their city in powerful and palpable ways. They will die to defend it against overwhelming odds (like those who refused to succumb to the 900 day siege of Leningrad; or the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki; or the shunning of Hanford, Washington).
People sense the spirit of a city. This spirit is palpable and shared by city residents who sense when it is healthy, stressed or damaged and fight to return it to a state of well-being. We have seen, with the visibility of modern disasters, that outsiders will even rally to restore the spirit of the city.
One such, “outsider” is Olivia Fermi, granddaughter of Enrico Fermi, part of the scientific team that developed the atomic bomb – which was the source of one the most potent experiences of power ever experienced by any city. Olivia has created a project (and a blog), she calls “On the Neutron Trail” and has journeyed to Hanford, where the plutonium was made for the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, and which now is the site of one of the world’s largest environmental recovery projects. She has also recently visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima to visit the shrines in both cities and most importantly to meet citizens who are survivors of the World War II bombings.
Olivia says: “To this day, humanity struggles to make sense of what happened. Victory? Tragedy? These questions are part of a larger movement toward healing that I hope to support with my Neutron Trail journey.” Read more about her visit to Nagasaki here and Hiroshima here.
Citizens – and city visitors – with intentions like these, create the true spirit of a city. The expression and realization of intentions lie at the heart of the city’s energy — its joie de vivre, its esprit de corps. Citizen intentions dictate whether individuals experience happiness, well-being and quality of life in the city. It is imperative for cities to nourish the capacities of citizen consciousness – whether that be tending shrines, or telling stories to strangers, or healing others on peace missions (like the Peace Boat that has visited many cities around the world), so that the ever-increasing levels of complexity that exist in today’s cities gain minds, hearts and spirits equal to living optimally under these complex life conditions.
(Adapted from Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 147)
From Russia with Love: A Short History of the Power of a Strange Attractor
Symbols and logos seem to have the power of “strange attractors” with a life of their own. Let me tell you the story of the Integral City Compass Logo. It was first created in the late 80’s when I delivered programs under the name Global Learning Connections, with a special focus on Navigating for Profits. My graphic designer proposed Logo 1 in Figure 1 for the work. I especially liked the logo because in the centre two people appeared to join hands and push outwards into the waves of directionality marked by the nested quarter circles and arrows.
In the early 2000’s, this Logo transformed with my work and company name into Logo 2 for Integral City Meshworks. You can see it morphed into a full compass rose, as the Integral Quadrants gave new meaning to our first Integral City website.
The next iteration came for our ad in the ITC2010 brochure. Logo 4 was a Turquoise version that reflected our theme of Meshworking in the Human Hive.
These four logo variations (and more) are still alive and working their magic as symbols on reports, blog banners and favicons.
But with the mystery that powers strange attractors, the logo has started to inspire others to adapt to Integral City opportunities. In the last two years ARGO has emerged – the Association for City Development in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia.
With permission to utilize a variation of Integral City’s logo (Figure 2) ARGO clearly connected their online webinars and in-city workshops to Integral City’s mission. And then ARGO conceived and promoted across the city and through the media – an invitation to Urbanfest 2014, where city planners and the 4 voices from 44 cities in Russia, convened in Izhevsk, in May 2014. There the logo marked street banners, magazine ads and the ARGO website.
ARGO’s most recent surprise use of the logo (in Figure 3) came from this full page ad published in GOROD (City) to thank all the people who contributed to Urbanfest 2014.
Who knew that one small quadrant of a compass designed as a logo in 1989 could act like a seed and grow into the symbol of a whole urban festival half way around the world a quarter of a century later? That is the mystery of a Strange Attractor that seems to have its own power to inspire Light and Love on our Planet of Cities.
Quadrants of Conscious and Compassionate Power
UL/ Monterrey, Mexico has been the site of a number of powerful conferences on Peace, Oneness and Universal Values in the last months and years. Integral City had the honour to contribute to planning for the Monterrey World Values Conference and Global Oneness Day and continues with contributions towards 2015 values research, with our colleagues in The Hague Centre.
“A compassionate city is an uncomfortable city! A city that is uncomfortable when anyone is homeless or hungry. Uncomfortable if every child isn’t loved and given rich opportunities to grow and thrive. Uncomfortable when as a community we don’t treat our neighbors as we would wish to be treated.”
Compassion lies at the root of Integral City’s Master Code: Take care of yourself, take care of each other, take care of this place/planet – so we encourage cities to take steps to sign the Charter for Compassion.
LR/ ISO Announces New Standard for Cities. With our interest in city values and vital signs monitors, we were excited to see the recent announcement of International Standards Organization, City Standard ISO37120 – read more about it here.
LR/ AQAL A recent Glocalism journal’s call for papers on Glocalism has created a wealth of provocative papers on the boundaries between the city and the globe. Read more here.
AQAL/ City Trigger points are country tipping points was our blog for June, 2014.We wrote about the issue of how cities would become cultural trigger points for country tipping points.While drawing on the Iraq situation at time of writing, subsequent events in Donetsk, Ukraine and Ferguson, and New York USA are demonstrating how quickly this reality of the power of city to impact the power (and powerlessness) of nation (and world) is accelerating.
AQAL/ While the Economist writes about Policing in America, Values, Compassion and Performance Standards will become the crucial therapeutic “power weapons of choice”to heal open wounds of culture and worldview clashes and move cities toward the new governance structures the world’s cultures long for.
Celebrating “Power-focus” in the Coming Quarter that Lights Up 2014 and 2015
December 21 marks the start of what IC calls the Power Quarter (from December 21 to March 20). What powers of imagination and meshworking do you bring to celebrate Light and Love and Life in the City at this time of year? What Mystery and Stories create rituals for sharing with loved ones? We notice the power of cities expanding their influence on our Planet of Cities. Visit us at Integral City Collective on Face book and post a short update or a photo.
Finally, December 21, 2014, marks the 100th Anniversary of Clare W. Graves, the psychologist and researcher extraordinaire who has empowered all the insights of Spiral Dynamics IntegralTM and the Centres for Human Emergence around the world as well as the idea of the Momentous Leap that lies at the heart of a New Story for a Planet of Integral Cities. Deep bows to Graves, and the lineage of “Momentous Leapers” he has inspired.
Meshful Blessings for December Solstice from
Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Core Team
Here are some Resources for amplifying Power in the Human Hive:
1. FREE peer reviewed Journal Article on Integral Spirituality in the Human Hive: a Primer – by Marilyn Hamilton
2. Blog Series celebrating the New Story of the City for World Cities Day.
3. The Story of The Integral City 2.0 Online Conference: A Fractal Non-Local Leap Toward Kosmocentricity has just been released in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, Vol. 9, No. 1
4. Register for the fourth Integral Living Room (ILR) October 29 – November 2, 2015. This ILR will explore A Trans-Rational Soul Initiation, bringing together an integral approach to subtle energy, second-tier shamanism and ceremony, the soul, and our life’s purpose. It plans to be rich, multidimensional, and the process of preparing for it will be profound. For Special Alumni Registration click here.
5. Watch for the January, 2015 issue of Integral Leadership Review – a special issue on Canada (guest edited by Integral City Founder, Marilyn Hamilton) has contributions that build leadership capacities for an emerging Planet of Integral Cities across teams, organizations, sectors and cities.