In September 2015 the Centre for Human Emergence Netherlands explored with me a proposition: The politics of fear can be trumped by the politics of dignity, regarding refugees, immigrants and voters.
We explored this question (drawn from Angela Merkel’s challenge to Europe in the face of the tide of refugees) using Systemic Constellation Work (SCW). SCW is a core process methodology that Integral City uses to do research and development to expand our ways of knowing the archetype of Integral City as a reflective organ for Gaia. SCW supports presencing, prototyping and processing for issues, questions, situations and challenges encountered by the Integral City Community of Practice.
SCW as a methodology taps into the collective unconscious (or Knowing Field (KF)) and reveals to participants, the archetypal patterns embedded in the field of the human system of interest. (SCW’s derive from Bert Hellinger’s family system constellation work that has expanded into many human systems including organizations, social issues, indigenous tribes, nations and in the case of Integral City – cities.)
Our NL experiment began with identifying the key Elements of this proposition: Fear, Dignity, Refugees, Migrants, Voters, Trump (the verb not the US mogul), Policy and Politicians. An eighth element self-identified as Non-Voters.
Mapping out the Knowing Field (KF) within the circle of about 20 Witnesses, volunteers stepped forward to represent the Elements across 2 intersecting axes: Future/Past and Below/Above.
The first pattern within the KF was very chaotic with Elements strewn about helter-skelter – Policy bumping into Refugees attempting to move to the Future; Dignity being elbowed aside by Voters and Migrants; Politicians positioning themselves close to the Past and Non-Voters (expressing anger) stepping right outside the Circle of Witnesses. Fear started out close to the Past – and started talking argumentatively with little intention of shutting up. Trump hovered with no direction. Another new Element emerged as a possibility – Courage – who became a disembodied position (marked by a card) almost out of the circle above the Future axis point.
The second pattern with the KF emerged when Fear made his way from the Past to close to the Future, causing a ripple effect where the other Elements stretched out in a zig-zag pattern along the Future/Past axis like this:
Dignity (Courage disembodied)
Something Missing Trump
Meanwhile Fear kept up his verbal rant, taunting the Facilitator and other Elements. In the midst of this a mystery Element emerged that we simply recognized as “Something Missing” and Courage became embodied by a tall imposing man.
In the third and final pattern, the Facilitator demanded that Fear lie down and “be quiet” slightly offside from the Future.
This move precipitated a final pattern where Courage moved quite compassionately to stand beside Fear, while standing behind Dignity. From the zig-zag of Pattern 2, the other Elements moved so that the Refugees and Something Missing became the centre of a circle held by Dignity (located at 12 o’clock), Policy (located at 3) Voters (at 7) and Migrants (at 10). Politicians, Trump, Non-Voters (now happy with the outcome) clustered together behind Past.
Comments from Witnesses and Non-Voters produced the insight that the “Something Missing” was Respect (as it relates to the Integral City Master Code). We also received a reframe of the proposition: The Politics of Dignity can trump the politics of fear by respecting refugees, migrants and voters.
A post-SCW debrief produced these insights for Individuals, CHE NL and the World in Transition (resonating with the sequence of the Master Code – Take Care of Self, Others, Place-Planet):
I have a better sense of Dignity.
I recognize the importance of Courage.
I was struck by the importance of Non-Voters in the world (and that they represent both ancestors and marginalized voices).
Politics doesn’t represent the people.
We didn’t need Policy – Policy self-organizes what is in everybody.
This is a complex issue and we made visible many intentions related to it.
Politicians never solve problems.
Everything got easier when the Refugees moved into the centre – when they were in the centre, Light came in.
I sensed a strange connection between Dignity and the Non-Voters.
I see so much potential in the Refugees.
Actually there is no separation between Refugees and Voters.
I have more respect for the Refugee(s).
I am struck by the power of Fear and Not Knowing.
Fear recalibrates Not Knowing.
Courage is replaced by Self-Confidence.
Our final image was like a ship pointed towards the Future with the circle in the centre. I am curious about the Element of “Something Missing”.
Perhaps this is like (Clare Graves’) Never-Ending Quest? – Where Fear disappears as Integral thinking and approaches emerge – maybe that allows Fear to even recalibrate as Unknowing?
For Centre for Human Emergence NL
CHE NL started by looking for core problem underlying refugee crisis.
This is an exercise in consciousness to step up to global consciousness.
Simply talking is not enough.
When Fear is out of the way, the systems self-organize.
We can work on our self/selves.
Politicians don’t seem to be part of the game.
Spiral Dynamics integral shows us multiple levels of Dignity and Fear.
We can’t design solution that is a one size fits all. There are needs for Purple/Red and Blue/Orange solutions (and even the basics of Beige).
We must look for the half a step ahead of the natural leadership that is being expressed.
For the World in Transition
The original proposition is a major challenge but it can unify EU.
Politicians relate to Politics of Fear.
Voters relate to Politics of Dignity
Even such a serious inquiry produces moments of truth and humanity.
We need to work our self/selves to make change.
Core Values (like attending to Basics of Life, Belonging, Self-Expression, and Respect for Life-Giving Order) underlie the possibilities for positive change.
The concluding reframe of the proposition helped us to discover how the Politics of Dignity can counter the politics of fear when both Courage and Respect are practised by people – especially when they combine their role as Voters with their role as Hosts. Individuals, associations/organizations, communities, cities and nations all play roles in enabling The Politics of Dignity to trump the politics of fear by respecting refugees, migrants and voters.
(And since we completed this inquiry 6 weeks ago, the steadfastness of Angela Merkel to enact a Politics of Dignity in the face of mounting difficulties seems to embody the qualities of Courage, Dignity and Respect.)