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.
Spiritual Energy is a Container
The spiritual qualities and cultures that are revealed in quadrants and levels become integrated when we see the city is a container for spirituality (and therefore a boundary that contains the panoply of gods, goddesses and God that have emerged from various spiritual traditions). The difference between a container and a quality, is that the container is a holonic structure that holds qualities, elements, configurations and other wholes. Spiritual containers in the city can be considered in three key scales
Hamilton, M. 2018. Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives. Minneapolis, MN: Amaranth Press,LLC. p. 13
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Powering Conscious Change in the Human Hive
In December 2018, at the international Climate Change Conference COP24 in Copenhagen, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (all major oil producers) rejected the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific report commissioned by the UN. It is difficult not to be stunned by this refusal to take action based on scientific evidence. What don’t we want to see? What do we refuse to hear? What words stop before being spoken?
As we went to press, the 200 countries who stayed behind at COP24 were able to demonstrate some measure that the rest of the world is paying attention to the IPCC scientists who revised their estimates on the expectations of climate change impacts (as a report to COP24). Nevertheless, if, as they say, we have 12 years or less to make a difference in response to not just an inconvenient truth but a life-changing threat, how do we imagine ourselves at that time? Do we dread that we might be dead? Is that why we refuse to picture, facing our children or grandchildren 20 years from now? What would we say, when they ask, “What did you do when you got the news?”
Even the IPCC itself suffers from internal differences of opinion. Apparently, the hard scientists are so focused on the objective and interobjective outcomes of climate science forecasts, that they pay scant heed to the subjective and intersubjective involvements that can make a difference on a wide-spread scale.
What if they are ALL right but partial (as Ken Wilber might suggest)? What if we took on all the perspectives from a meta-view? Could we honour every partial view and begin to recognize that only when they are embraced as a whole, can we grasp:
- The full implications of climate change from (inter)objective/(inter)subjective Points of View.
- Climate change is not homogenous – the locations of extreme climate at the poles and the equator suffer greater extremes of climate change consequences.
- All extreme climate conditions are accelerating their manifest impacts and causing consequences across the globe (check the records on average climate temperature, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, etc.).
- The inter- and intra-systemic nature of climate change is a pan-global affair. It involves cooperation and collaboration with all people, places, ecologies and the Planet. The usual responses of throwing money, technology and resources at “the problem(s)” are not the solution(s).
- Cities feel like the places hardest hit on our planet, because that is where most people live and that is where most human-centred change is located. What if we could ask other life forms/realms about the changes to the globe that impact them? Extinction Rebellion has started with humans (in the UK and spreading rapidly); but now that we recognize it as an anthropocentric condition, maybe we will wake up to the ecocides that are happening with so many species in the ecologies that support us.
- Climate change is natural, evolutionary and not outside us, but involves us as intimate elements of the global system. It is not just a 3rd person phenomenon (out there), but a 2nd person collective experience (shared with all people) and a 1st person conscious awareness (of the need to change our inner climate).
What are the strategies we have brought to the climate change table? Prof. Karen O’Brien, a social scientist with IPCC for 25+ years points out that 3 major response dimensions are available:
- Technology/technical quantitative changes to the external world.
- Political/governance changes to (all levels of) the governments of the world.
- Personal/individual/collective changes to the mindsets and behaviours of citizens.
As it turns out, each dimension O’Brien names is larger than the preceding one. In fact, the largest that transcends and includes the other two is the dimension of individual and collective behaviours and mindsets. We already know that when all three dimensions align around common purposes, they can make globally impacting change in significant numbers of people’s lives.
But do we remember that each of the changes we have effected at global scale, has started with individuals who have committed to make a change in their own lives? By commitment through personal example, political activism and redirected funding, a courageous few have repeatedly demonstrated how to create global change. We can look back and see that the waves of world-changing initiatives began around someone’s kitchen table for such issues as these:
- Reducing/eliminating airborne pollution in key cities and clearing the air.
- Reducing, reusing, recycling material household waste and converting them into resources.
- Implementing the use of seat belts in cars and saving lives.
- Reducing/ceasing tobacco smoking and extending lives.
Thus, we know that the power of embracing personal consciousness coupled with individual behaviour change translates into the power to influence. This power of “ordinary people” to influence change translates into the political sphere through our votes and activism aimed at the politicians we need to pass the legislation that implements the scientific research that is widely available to all – and not just secreted in expert laboratories. This is a power-filled supply chain that can make the differences that improves life conditions for all people (and all life).
At the same time, we can see through these examples of past successes, that they are not yet applied in a globally even way (despite generations of experience in the parts of the world where they started). Nevertheless, this tension of unequal application, in turn is translating into a whole new enactment of ethics, justice and collective wisdom. We see the rise of eco-justice to respond to ecocide; universal rights for all people and all life; expectations for health and education for all people. (All this on the 70th Anniversary Year of the UN’s adoption of the Bill of Human Rights.)
Such change on a global scale, is necessarily evolutionary. When we look back on the changes, we see the stages that such changes evolved through. (The move through the holarchies of individual, family, neighbourhood, workplace, community, city, nation to global adoption.) Now that we have the capacity for an overview of life on our planet from space, we can even see that the evolution of the life we all value (albeit in different [evolutionary] ways) has emerged from the building blocks of life we seek on other planets, star systems and galaxies.
While all these outward gazes are powerful and worldview changing, it is only because we have an equal and precedent capacity for the inward gaze that enables the possibility for outer climate change because we have experienced inner climate change.
This is the proposition that Prof. Karen O’Brien and her (Climate Change) cChange™ team have framed into the (Climate Challenge) cChallenge ™ so that we can all discover the enormity and impact of these truths.
At Findhorn Community we are stepping into the cChallenge to discover how the power of consciousness can change our Human Hive. (See story following). We challenge the rest of the World to step up to the cChange that can turn around our Human Hives (and all the ecologies they touch) this next decade.
Climate Change: Think Rationally Connect Politically Act Personally
Inspiring us with a framework of globally reviewed science, intergovernmental agreements and personal commitment to change, the research of Prof. Karen O’Brien and her cCHANGE team from University of Oslo are introducing to many communities in Scandinavia the cCHALLENGE. Beginning in January 2019, the Findhorn Community in Scotland will join the experiment. The Findhorn Innovation Research & Education CIC along with Integral City issued an invitation:
F.I.R.E. up your New Year’s and make a difference with your resolutions for 2019.
We started with an information session on December 2, 2018 so everyone could learn how to participate in a 30-day experiment to chart a path to conscious climate change, starting January 8, 2019. We hoped for 8-15 volunteers – but the challenge was so contagious we found 30!!
Read more here.
8 Powerful Practices for Mystical Journeys
When we contemplate the theme of Power, it always invites me to consider the Power of the unseen. In the last few months I have been involved in a Synergy Circle that brought together the Findhorn Fellows and the Source of Synergy Foundation (SSF). The first group have long been advisors and/or graduates of Findhorn Foundation‘s ways of serving the world with the intelligences of nature, with deep inner listening and through work as love in action. Many of the SSF first assembled as Evolutionary Leaders and/or were influenced by the UN’s spirituality caucus.
Another gathering I attended in November, 2018 was the Unity Conference (see below) in London at the House of Lords. This assembly of not only spiritual leaders but scientific leaders found common ground in affirming the ONEness of our spiritual source. The inspiring speakers present in person were lead off by video addresses from two long time mentors to Integral City: evolution biologist Elisabet Sahtouris and Jean Houston. Jean spoke of how we are all called to step outside the (often invisible) boundaries we put on ourselves to become visible actors in changing our times of global crisis.
On a more intimate note after the conference, Jean shared with me by email how she is mentoring leaders to do just that. She spoke of four days in December 2018, when she and Peggy Rubin, her long time teaching associate would mentor seekers on all that they know about the important transformations required for the mystic journey.
Like Jude Currivan who framed the union of spirituality and science for participants at the Unity Conference, Jean’s mentoring shares not only all she has learned about mystics who have gone before us, but also what Quantum Physics has to say about mystic union. Jean’s mentees will learn eight powerful practices that will serve them all their life. She explains that she has been inspired in part, by the work of Evelyn Underhill’s great work, Mysticism. In service to the power of the invisible arising through all of us we share the eight practices here.
The Eight Practices are:
1. The Awakening, is the remembrance of who we are and why we are here; the insight into Reality itself. It brings with it answers, solutions, new ways of seeing, doing and being. Best of all it contains the impetus to follow through and bring these answers into the world and time.
2. The Purification, is the process of honing and refining, of de-conditioning the self from the habits and patterns that keep us in a state of illusion and forgetfulness.
3. The Illumination, is the state of awareness in which you find beauty, connectivity and meaning everywhere, with luminosity infusing everyday experiences. We learn the many ways of bringing great intention, cosmic purpose and new patterns into our own space and time.
4. The Voices and Visions, is the expansion of sensory knowing into new ways of perceiving information, insights, purpose and wisdom.
5. The Contemplation, teaches practices to cultivate the inner life and learn the language of the Meta Consciousness. Teachings and practices are drawn from spiritual traditions from around the world.
6. The Ecstasy, is the moment when the fullness of Being meets the body and psyche of the mystic. In this state, joy flows through every cell like a powerful river of love.
7. The Dark Night of the Soul, is the encounter of the larger Reality with everyday existence. This process corresponds to the Dark Night of our planet that we are experiencing daily. You’ll learn new practices for transforming the personal and collective wounding into faith, resilience, hope and action.
8. The Union, is the process in which the limits of culture and habit are transcended by the Infinite Self. It is through this expansion that we experience our destiny. The identity of the self transforms into the Self, and an indomitable source of energy, creativity and flow.
It is Jean and Peggy’s hope that those they mentor (and all who read this) will discover the Brilliance, creativity and possibilities that arise from this mystic journey and translate it into positive action for the world we love.
Diana Claire Douglas: Meshworker of the Year 2018
Diana Claire Douglas, Founder of The Knowing Field is Meshworker of the Year 2018.
She is internationally certified as an Organizational Constellation Work facilitator through the Bert Hellinger Institute of the Netherlands. As an adult educator, she has facilitated groups for over 30 years. In service of humanity’s awakening, she has been tuning into the Knowing Field and constellating since 2009.
Read more about the award here. Read more about how Diana Claire uses the Knowing Field to access the invisible in collective constellations – here.
6 AIKA in Finland: Cities of the Year 2018
6 cities in Finland have earned the award of Integral Cities of the Year 2018. They have developed a strategy for working together that they call 6AIKA. The strategy for sustainable urban development brings together Finland’s six largest cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu. Together, they tackle the challenges of urbanisation and evolve towards ever smarter and inherently human-centric cities.
Read more about the award here.
Upcoming Events for Integral City
Beyond Smart: Integral City Practices, Tools & Maps
For Practitioners. (2 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, April 27-29, 2019)
This 2-day course introduces “practitioners” to just the basics of the Integral City model. You will learn the framework of practices, tools and maps that reveal the common patterns that impact the lives of individuals, organizations and communities within your city. This short course explores three powerful images animating Integral City systems – the integral map, the meshwork and the human hive. You will learn from your own situations and each other how the toolkit guides you beyond models for Urban Ecovillages and Traditional, Smart and Resilient Cities.
Beyond Resilient: Integral City Inquiry Action & Impact
For Catalysts. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, May 1-4, 2019)
This 4-day course is for “catalysts” to explore inquiry and action that inspires productive impact for reinventing today’s cities for the future. You will interact with the 4+1 Voices of the Integral City (Business, Local Government, Civil Society and Citizens, plus actors from other regional cities) to identify strategic possibilities. Integral City introduces you to new ways to think about, act in, relate to and reinvent the city as a Human Hive. Through placecaring and placemaking, we invite you to discover the unique contributions you make to its aliveness. We believe the future of cities will emerge not just from the bottom up through Smart City Technology or the top down through Resilient approaches – but from the integrated actions of the 4+1 Voices in all the cities in your eco-region, as you reinvent your Human Hives. MORE INFO
Beyond Complexity: Integral City Care Context & Capacity
For Meshworkers. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, Sept. 14-17, 2019)
This 4-day course is for “meshworkers” to imagine how to reframe simplicity on the other side of complexity in the Integral City – or Human Hive. You will join graduates of prior training to build on the Integral City practitioner and catalyst competencies to apply new skills to a live case study. You will look at the city through the lenses of Care, Contexting and Capacity Building. You will view the city as a complex, adaptive living innovation eco-system, where the internal and external connections amongst the 4+1 voices of the city (Citizens, Civil Society, City/Institutional Managers, Business/Innovators (and other cities) enable conditions for thriving today. You will seek to align intra-city and inter-regional collaborations through caring for people, contexting for place and capacity building for purpose. This course introduces the practices of “meshworking”, so that practitioners who work with individual organizations and catalysts who build bridges between organizations can engage with the city as a whole. MORE INFO
Integral City Book 3 Now Launched
Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives is Book 3 in the Integral City series. Book 3 applies and expands in multiple directions the 12 intelligences described in Book 1, Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive and builds on the field work described in Book 2: Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive.
Integral City 3.7 considers a series of apparently intractable challenges that all cities face because the world has become so complex that cause and effect are rarely directly linked. The challenges cities face today result from the intertwining impacts of multiple life conditions, perspectives and capacities and can only be addressed by reframing them within an Integral City model that honors the plural realities, recognizes their developmental and evolutionary relationships and does not conflate differences.
This third book in our series explores three themes that are eternal practices for designing a collective life that works for all life; namely, Caring, Contexting and Capacity Building. Organized into these three themes, the book starts Part 1: Deepening Care with the “missing chapter” from Integral City Book 1 and adds a new Map (5) – “Spirituality in the Human Hive”. It explains the intimate relationship between Caring Capacity and Carrying Capacity as strategic factors that contribute to sustainable and resilient cities. Part 2: Raising Context makes a persuasive case for the city as both a trigger point and a tipping point for evolution on our Planet of Cities. This Part takes a deep dive into reframing sustainability in evolutionary terms, the curious condition of the invisible city and a metaview of human security. Part 3: Widening Capacity examines the emergence of capacity across a holarchy of human scales: leaders, organizations, systems and city.The book concludes with a synthesis of the relationships between Caring and Contexting as they are expressed in Integral Capacities at multiple scales within the human hive.
The book’s generational number “3.7” reminds us of the 7th generation in the future, a time span that many indigenous people consider relevant to contexting and making wise decisions. The dedication to the seventh generation from now activates an “overview effect” that forces us to consider the consequences of our cities’ impact on our living planet, Gaia.