March 2023 Equi-Notes: Roots of City Peace in Joy, Happiness and Care

These Equi-Notes are published periodically drawing on the Archives of Integral City’s Reflective Organ Newsletter, Blogs, Books and Website. The perspectives of Equi-Notes weave across: Planet, People, Place and Power.

The theme of this issue is the Roots of City Peace in Joy and Care.

Purpose: Crossroads of Personal Joy & Gaia’s Need

The Roots of City Peace seem to emerge from the discovery of one’s Purpose – sitting at the crossroads of one’s Personal Joy and Gaia’s Greatest Need. In these days, Gaia has an extreme need for an Equinox of positive energies that can counteract the VUCA disinetgration caused by war, climate change and pandemics. 10 years ago we wrote about the Power of Purpose and how it can release Energy and Prosperity (aka Flourishing) for individuals, families and organizations – the cells and organelles of Gaia’s cities.

Ingredients for Honey in the Human Hive

What is the equivalent for the Human Hive of producing 40 pounds of honey in the bee hive?

That is the question that I have been inquiring into through the lenses of bio-psycho-cultural-social-mimicry.

Honey Bee Ingredients

In the generative seed bed of my recent visit to San Francisco, glimpses of the ingredients for producing “Honey” in our Human Hive  Honey have emerged. It has to do with the conjunction of Passion, Priority, Purpose and Prosperity.

I have learned that it is the symbiotic relationship of the Bee Hive’s survival (or thrival) through Pollination of Plant Life that meets their need to survive and thrive. Bee Hives can “measure” their success through the production of 40 pounds of honey per year. This symbiotic relationship generates enough Energy (aka Prosperity) to not only fulfil their Purpose but to create renewable energy sources for next year.

Human Hive Honey

In the Human Hive – our thriving arises from feeling fully alive – this Passion is expressed as Joy. Our great Purpose arises from the fulfilment of Caring Service to the world’s Priorities or Needs. This is just as much a symbiotic relationship with Gaia, as the bees have with her plants. What is more, it generates the same kind of Energy (which we call Prosperity) that rewards us for acting from Joy and creates renewable Energy to continue to meet Gaia’s bio-psycho-cultural-social Needs on an ongoing cycle.

It seems to me these ingredients and the recipe for making Honey in the Human Hive are fractal – that is they occur at every level of  scale in the Human Hive (individual, family, organization, neighbourhood, city).Human Hive Honey_Page_3

It is the fundamental energy equation of Gaia’s Code of Care (formerly called the Master Code of Care):

  • To Care for Ourselves (through Passion/Joy)
  • To Care for Others (in living our Purpose in service to Priorities/Needs)
  • To Care for this Place (as a natural result of Prosperity)
  • To Care for this Planet (as we align the Prosperity engine around Gaia’s wellbeing Needs)

Is this too simple?? Maybe just a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious)? Maybe just another step along the path for Human Hives to achieve the double sustainability system that the honey bee hives have created in their service to Gaia?

Waking up the Human Hive: Recalibrating with Happiness

When we place all the locators of our GPS compass in the service of our cities, we have the very real opportunity of re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities with Care and Happiness.

Working together as 4 Voices of the City, we have the intelligence to go beyond the Smart City beloved of Civic Managers and Citizens, beyond the Resilient City beloved of Business and Civil Society into the Knowing Field of the Integral City – beloved by the interdependent Meshwork of 4 City Voices in the Integral City.

Happiness as Evidence of Success

Now we can ask, how can we use the Integral City compass for aligning performance that produces wellbeing and re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities?  Where is the evidence or the sweet spot that aligns Smart, Resilient and Integral intelligence’s for optimum living in the Human Hive? What is the equivalent target of 20kg of honey to measure wellbeing in our cities?

As simple or as trite as it may sound – I think our friends the honey bees suggest an obvious location for such evidence. Remember they used a very practical measure to trigger change – namely, their pheromones that measure depression. In humans we can also measure that – when it is in a positive state, we call it happiness. And Happiness Studies have become early evidence for the wellbeing of individuals, cities, cultures and nations. (GNH, Dalai Lama, Happy Citybook, Happiness Studies, etc.). This kind of happiness is not merely ego or self-centered, nor is it ethno or regional centered, nor even merely place or planet-centered. Instead this indicator integrates all the scales of possible happiness that arise when our decision sets are aligned. This happens when we live the Gaia’s Code of Care (formerly called the Master Code of Care) – choosing to take care of our selves, each other, our cities/places and the planet all at once – simultaneously.

I suggest to you that the bees have modeled for us the great value of why happiness is the ultimate feedback loop for re-calibrating our cities because it ultimately measures the relationship between Caring Capacity and Carrying Capacity. We must learn to notice when our BEEings are depressed and what we must do to steward all life in our eco-regions and planet. We must listen and respond to the Evolutionary Intelligence at the center of our compass which has offered a path of Caring Capacity (a gold dot to locate us on our GPS maps??) and by now also offered many means to move the path of Carrying Capacity beyond traditional cities to Smart Cities to Resilient Cities. Out beyond all these there is a Knowing Field where you will find the Integral City.

In closing this blog series, I would ask Smart City and Resilient City experts – what roles can you play as Civic Managers and Business Innovators, as Citizens and Civil Societies to build on the potential of Smart and Resilient Cities and working together co-create the Knowing Field of the Integral City? This time in our history is an opportunity to discover that Care lives in the center of that Knowing Field.

I believe, that together we can co-create the next generation of IT – the Integral Technology that will enable us to implement the Master Code. – This Evolutionary Intelligence of Care that is so needed by our Planet of Cities.

I invite you to dance towards that Knowing Field so that our Human Hives can add the distinctive capacity of Care so that Earth’ cities can work together to create an Integral Ecology.  By aligning our Caring Capacities we will naturally expand the Carrying Capacity of our cities.  We may also  take the critical next steps to avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our dancing cousins the bees have warned us about. I will meet you on the dance floor!

Our Evolutionary Journey to Gaia’s Code of Care for a City of Peace

Gaia in her wisdom has created us as a fractal of her patterns. Like her we have organs made from the substances of her creation: we are bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh, heart of her heart and mind of her mind.

So, in contemplating a City of Peace we must first respect that it will not just be a built environment – not just the bones of streets and buildings or the energy of communication systems. But what we create will have a home on what we call Gaia’s bio-regions. Within a watershed, geo-shed, bio-shed, we must respect the resources and honour the boundaries of the ecology that Gaia creates for us to plant the seed of a new creation.

As Gaia expresses an ecological intelligence in all her creations, so we must reflect that intelligence in creating a City of Peace that lives in its bio-region with Intelligences of Ecology, Emergence, Integral Awareness and Aliveness. I call these Contexting Intelligences.

Gaia delights in the creation of Individual uniqueness and expression – reflected in each of us as individuals with inner consciousness and outer behavioural capacities. A City of Peace would enable Individual Intelligence to shine without repressing the expression of other individuals.

Gaia also knows from her deep history that Collective Intelligence emerges when individuals agree to work, live, play, co-create together. The co-creation of Cities of Peace must be an ultimate expression of Collective Intelligence where cooperation and collaboration optimize Aliveness.

Gaia has the wisdom to open the doors of Strategic Intelligence, encouraging us to Inquire and ask good questions – like what is a City of Peace? She shows us through Ecological Intelligence how in a City of Peace to Meshwork the foundational functions of structures with the self-organizing functions of ongoing connections and exploration. She also gifts us with Navigational capacities so that we can create Vital Signs Monitors in our Cities of Peace that enable us to set targets for wellbeing and steer a course to achieve wellbeing goals and objectives.

Gaia has the impulse of Evolutionary Intelligence to encourage us to grow Cities of Peace as her Reflective Organs that continue to grow, develop and evolve dynamically.

But as Gaia evolves she uses the wisdom of complex adaptive living systems to seek coherence, resonance, and emergence. This can enable all her Cities to be Reflective Organs that can be at Peace with one another.

Gaia even gives us the capacities to create an Operating System for our Reflective Organs. It is a Code of Peace that I call the Gaia Code of Care (formerly called the Master Code of Care). This Operating System  enables Peace as we practise it. We must Care for our Selves, so that we can Care for Others, and together Care for our Places – or Cities of Peace – and altogether we can Care for our Planet, Gaia.

This Gaia Code of Care enables development and evolution of Cities of Peace within the Ecology of Gaia.

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About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here http://integralcity.com/about/about-the-founder/

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