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 Planet.
When we take the perspective of Caring for Planet, we gain the Overview of a Living System Cosmology that embraces all of the Cares into ONE planet. We discern the deep connections of Planetary Care in VUCA times – using Climate Change as an example that calls on the collaboration of individuals and collectives wearing the hats of the Practical, Political and Personal. We appreciate the power of Spirituality to bring optimism alive and optimization to empower our practices. We learn how a Salutogenic sense of Wellbeing creates the conditions for a Planet of Cities interconnected through science and spirit. We gain insights through the powers of ECOintention to change whole systems through sensing the energies of person, peoples, place and planet.
Hamilton, M., Accelerating City Change in a VUCA World, Urban Hub 20, 2021, Integral Mentors
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When I am connected to people with zero degrees of separation it is difficult not to care about events as they impact those people. It is the inverse algorithm I use for Islands of Calm – find calm in myself so I can impact up to 1000 other people (thank you David Spangler). But detecting or reflecting turbulence in others can also impact up to 1000 other people – including me.
It turns out I am connected directly to several communities of Russians. And I lived in Canada with an extensive community of Mennonites – many of whom had direct ties to the Ukraine. In addition, in the international community of Findhorn, where I now live, waves of news wash through, flooding our minds, hearts and souls like the deluges that are destroying lives of friends in Australia (as I write) and in the last year damaged lives in Germany and Canada.
Having direct contact with friends in times of distress brings home the facts of their situations because of the direct relationship and trust I have with the source of the news. My friends and colleagues send me photos of damage and destruction. They measure the depth of the flood. They report on the state of the weather. They use all their senses and sense to paint a picture whose truth I feel I can depend on.
By contrast, when I listen to broadcast or syndicated news, I am receiving news curated by others I do not know. Often, curators have expertise and technology that can expand awareness of the context of many situations. But they also have biases (cultural), vested interests (advertiser influence) and political influence (both elected and adversarial) that remove me from the facts of the situation.
Moreover, those biases, vested interests and political influences can turn factual news into fake news. This can happen at every scale from micro to meso to macro – especially where political interests benefit from a “twisted rendition”. With the help of social media technology these fake stories can be spun back upon themselves so that the feedback loops amplify emotional “hooks” and multiply the effects of the fake news – spreading like a tsunami of anxiety around the globe. …
As an individual impacted by the facts and the fakes in the world, I ask myself, “Is there anything else I can do?” …
I had set for Integral City Meshworks the intention in 2022 to catalyse City/Bioregion Regeneration Hubs. How can we do that, while the world is at war, squandering our non-renewable fuels and ignoring the actions we should be taking to respond to climate change?
It turns out the impulse to discover what could emerge if I created a world of fantasy, was so strong that I took fingers to keyboard and experimented with 4 Novellas.
The Novellas emerge from an ancient myth that arose from a wisdom school located in the heart of a long-disputed territory in the Hindu Kush. But this place and these wisdom keepers were ignored because they apparently contributed nothing to the worlds of fact or fake.
My fantasy is that this mystery school of Sarmouni – the honey makers – now transplanted to Scotland – has the wisdom to teach and equip young emissaries to catalyse Regeneration Hubs in city/bioregions with the mysteries from science, spirit and soul. The Sarmouni are dispatched into the world of 4 cities – in the global north, south, east and west – to learn for themselves the power of impacting the 4 Voices of those cities. …
And so, at this March 2022 Equinox we take the courage to step into the world – out beyond fact and fake – to explore the possibilities of regenerative fantasy. You can open the door to the Mystery School of Sarmouni below … and step across the threshold into one of the adventures that it introduces.
We hope that readers will find the weaving of these fantasy realms will give them an option to facts and fakes. You might even discover a new buoyancy as we navigate the turbulence of daily life and reveal the possibilities of a thriving future.
Read the full editorial here.
Many eons ago in the Hindu Kush, a secret School served Earth. It was called “Sarmoun Darq,” which translates as “The Beehive” or the “Collectors of Honey.” The purpose of this human school hive was to collect human knowledge in the eras when knowledge became incoherent and unconnected and store it for future seasons when it could nurture Earth again. The Constellators who integrated the collection and learning, were alert to the times when Earth people faced unexpected difficulties, diseases, strife, conflict and even war. These Constellators knew, collecting this honey was vital to the capacity of Earth to renew and regenerate her greatest aliveness.
Some time ago this School of Sarmouns was transported to a location in the north of Scotland, we call the CROFT.
The Sarmoun Darq – or Sarmoun CROFT now – collects special knowledge like bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers and then transform it into honey. Like a beehive, the School appreciates and stores a constellation of essential knowledge from all regions of the globe. The Sarmoun Constellators learn to master and teach the practices of collecting and concentrating nectar and pollen and transforming the essences, aromas and elements into honey without equal. They then store this honey in unique vessels. When the Universe calls, the Croft School releases the honey into specially prepared vessels that the Croft sends out to the world wherever it is needed….
When Earth makes known to the Constellators its needs, the vessels are prepared to journey to the regions of the world where they are needed.
I need a new language to describe what I see going on in the world. …
I need a new language that goes beyond war, rumours of war and reportings of war.
I seek something that makes sense from the overview I discern from a cosmo-local perspective. If I think cosmically, feel globally and act locally, what are the words that describe my expressions from head, heart, hara, hands?
I go back to words that I have used before in editorials, articles and chapters. Where I have explored the dilemmas of power – over, with, as. “Power As” seems to have regressed or even disappeared from accepting that humans are Gaia’s Reflective Organs. Even on a clear day we don’t seem to be able anymore to sense as one global organism – even honouring our organs (I call those cities) and organelles (I see them as organizations) and cells (I look at our individual contributions).
Our “Power With” reaches out impulsively as nations to align with one another to punish this act of war with economic sanctions that hurt the sanctioners as much as the sanctioned. The ultimate result may be that we all decline or even die together. Because we haven’t the words to communicate not just what we disagree with – but what all sides are blind to.
As blind people striking out against so many threats, we are all now experiencing the “Power Over” that has held our species in thrall for thousands of years. In our traumatized states, we seem to be frozen and speechless, fleeing and denying our response-ability or fighting with bodies and weapons that can destroy our beloved planet as we know it. …
I need a new language that borrows not just the metaphor of the living mycelium in the soil that reveals the fundamental interconnectivity of all life but that radiates meaning from the very codes of life itself.
I need a new language that enables me to let go of the mylenated connections in my brain that no longer serve a scaffold of learning that served a world that no longer exists.
I need a new language that lets me un-learn as fast as I can ex-change my perspectives, widen my relationships and deepen my commitments. …
I need a new language that infects the speaker and listener with Love. I need a new language that spreads Peace. I need a new language that potentiates Unity.
I need a new language to pattern a new language for the next unfolding of a truly regenerative Life – alive with Beauty, Truth and Goodness.
Click here to read the full article.
Integral City Leader, Beth Sanders is launching the City Makers community. She has given new life to the Mighty Network that we co-created several years ago. The City Makers is where you’ll learn to:
- Convene communities in ways that amplify their wisdom and enable action
- Navigate conflicting ideas and values
- Work effectively with people who usually fight with each other (citizens, governments, community organizations, and businesses)
- Implement awesome projects with unusual partners—and get unusual (and awesome!) results
Beth affirms that, “City makers do no work alone.
They have a community around them who serve as resources, thinking partners, cheerleaders, and sounding boards. They have a community that examines what works and what does not work—either way it’s a celebration.”
To connect and learn more about City Makers Mighty Network Click Here.
Integral City and Constellation are offering a range of course in 2022. Marilyn will be teaching through Ubiquity University and Beth will be teaching in the new City Makers Mighty Network.
(Note: Registration for courses at Ubiquity University is through Ubiquity University. Registration for Mighty Network courses is through “Courses” in the Mighty Network. Links are provided below.)
Cities Rising for a Regenerative World (Ubiquity University)
With its roots in the Humanity Rising 2021 Cities Rising for a Regenerative World, this micro-course focuses on human systems at the scale of the city. We define “city” as the human habitat (or “human hive”) at scales from village to megalopolis, embracing the ecoregion in which the city is located. The inquiry embedded in Cities Rising complements other courses in the BRA/MRA, by highlighting the context–cities–in which most humans live, and the contribution cities can make to a Regenerative World.
This is a 6-hour micro course offered through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. This is an asynchronous, self-directed course you can take at any time.
Beyond Smart (Ubiquity University)
Beyond Smart 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 other student sharings in the Ubiverse Group) how the toolkit guides you beyond models for Urban Ecovillages and Traditional, Smart and Resilient Cities.
Beyond Smart is a 12-hour micro course offered through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. This is an asynchronous, self-directed course you can take at any time.
Beyond Resilient (Ubiquity University)
Beyond Resilient enables Practitioners, Catalysts and Meshworkers to build capacitating scaffolds so that cities work for everyone. Participants grow their leadership to serve the city to thrive within the Master Code of Care: Caring for Self, Others, Place, Planet.
This course explores the city as the Human Hive and co-creates the conditions for you to catalyze and explore all the Voices who inhabit your spheres of influence – including family, neighbourhood, workplaces, recreation zones, communities, city, and eco-regions.
Beyond Resilient is a 12-week macro course offered for credit through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. There are two options to take this course:
- Asynchronously, in a self-directed fashion, any time you like OR
- “Live” with Marilyn Hamilton, Beth Sanders and wonderful classmates. (Recommended–so you have the live experience of community. Next live offering will be September to December 2022.)
Islands of Calm for Global Cities – Monthly Zoom City Subtle Activism Meditation (lead by Marilyn Hamilton on 4th Saturday of Month. March 26, April 23 , May 28, June 25). Time for these 4 months will be 930am GMT. Click here to register on Eventbrite.
The City Nestmaking Series (City Makers Mighty Network)
Engaging Inquiry (starts on March 30, 2022 in our Mighty Network)
4-week course hosted by Beth Sanders on Wednesdays from noon to 1:30 pm Mountain Time.
Cultivate your capacity (and your city’s) to foster adaptation, resilience and transition. We’ll explore how inquiry is a means to ensure vital feedback loops that inform city making. To register, “Buy” the course in the City Makers Mighty Network.
Join Beth Sanders/City Makers monthly for free zoom Street Corner Visiting – – 8pm BST – 4th Tuesday of the Month.