Caring in my granddaughter is an expression of moral influence. Caring may be considered her inner journey. It gives her an inner view of her reality. She experiences it as four perspectival stances: herself as I; others as You/We; habitat as It; and planet as Its.

Deepening care unfolds her patterns of expanding the circles of care. Children, like my granddaughter, first learn how to survive and gain the basic behaviors for living. As an infant human “self” she started out by being completely dependent on “others” for traversing this stage of existence. In her case, the others were parents and immediate family members. (In other cases, they may be family surrogates.)

As my granddaughter progressed through this stage she became increasingly more capable of caring not just for her own survival but contributing to the care of others within the family unit. This natural progression (also mirrored by young bees in the beehive (Gould, et al, 1988) opened her up to a sense of belonging – which germinated care for progressively larger scales of influence in the family, friends, school, neighbors, workers, groups, community, city, nation and planet. (Until now, she operates a business taken over from her mother; enjoys the challenges of being a mother and spouse herself; and serves clients from around the world in a movie catering business.) In basic terms, in a healthy environment, we can see that care expands from ego/self, to ethno/others, to place/city, to planet/care.

As the study of capacity building has shown (discussed below) when the object of care moves from the inner subjective (self) and intersubjective (others) to the outer objective (habitat) and interobjective (city) dimensions, the circles of care become stabilized at more complex levels (Cooke-Greuter ,1999, 2002; Fowler, 1981; Gilligan,1982; Graves, 1971, 1974, 1981, 2003, 2005; O’Fallon, 2010; Kegan, 1994; Torbert, 2004; Wilber, 1995,1996, 2000). Healthy caring becomes imbued with belonging and attachment that is experienced as deep love and spiritual connection to self, others, city and planet as inextricably interlinked. This array of deep care may be the source of the experience of Oneness that is shared by all faith systems (Weaver,2017). I summarize this depth of care in the Master Code: caring for self, others, place, planet (Hamilton, 2008, 2017). For the first time in history humans (like my granddaughter) have the opportunity to practice this kind of care simultaneously at all levels, which in itself is reflexive and reflective as one level of care mirrors the other levels of care. Furthermore, this kind of care reveals the Goodness, Truth and Beauty of spiritual depth and blossoms into a creativity that permeates all the co-existing realities of the city.

This blog is an extract from the upcoming Integral City series, Book 3: Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for the Human Hive.