As I make my way to Germany, I have had a moment to reflect, and I’ve been thinking about the tender territory our series has entered — a profound evolutionary urge to make an enlightened transition from “me” to “us.” So far in the series, some important themes have emerged—and none has evoked more poignant responses than the idea that, as Katherine Woodward-Thomas put it, “we need each other to become fully ourselves.”
Ken Wilber suggested that we now may be approaching a “tipping point” that could bring about an unprecedented new Integral Age. Andrew Cohen explained why his own work focuses not on individual but collective enlightenment.
It could be an amazing shift (after all, many of us are sensing that the next Buddha needs to be a Sangha) and we long for spiritually-fulfilling community.
But we don’t want to go back to the collective tyrannies of old, which held back individuals from pioneering at the leading edge.
What we’re wanting is something that is just now beginning to emerge — a dynamic shared field of awakened awareness that connects us to other caring spiritual practitioners. We’re looking for a connectedness that can inspire our best, that can draw us forward, beyond weariness or discouragement or just the difficulties of our lives — a way to live as a stand for one another’s growth and health and even greatness. So that we can really do it — really be the beginning of a healthy adaptive response of human beings to this time of crisis—to actually co-create the transformation of human culture.
So a couple of “Big Questions” obviously emerge: What exactly can we do, directly and purposefully (on our own or with others) to manifest this new awakened culture? How exactly can we begin to be empowered by its benefits in our own lives?
We have partial answers to these questions already. In fact Beyond Awakening itself is one such partial answer. And those partial answers are real blessings we need to respect. But we must not forget that we also need better, fuller, more effective answers!
This requires a new relationship to power, as Claire Zammit put it — a “feminine power” (even within men, perhaps!) that comes out of making a choice from a very tender place within us.
And it suggests a co-creative partnership between men and women —a truly new kind of mutual empowerment that many of us need, and long for.
How do we (as men or as women) evolve our ways of relating to men and to women so that we can become powerful co-creative partners, who break through the old patterns to something much more potent, liberating, generative—and fun?
We have some sense about this, and we’re following that inspiration but the truth is we honestly don’t yet know exactly how to do it.
One of the secrets of spiritual life is to live with our big questions fiercely, to keep asking them with the sincere expectation that our ferocity will help cause them to yield, to take to heart that we need better answers, or more details than we have now, and to be a stand for the emergence of those new possibilities.
This requires metaphysical courage. It means never giving up, but instead living in the creative urgency that better answers emerge.
A practice I find myself doing a lot these days, as I hold these big questions even more explicitly, is that I am breathing and feeling into these questions. I’m feeling the “gap” between the state of the answers I currently understand and the much better answers I know we need. And I’m finding myself invigorated by my discomfort. I’m feeling a fire of aliveness within myself as I discover, more and more deeply, that I am becoming, authentically, a real stand for the emergence of better answers to those questions, the emergence of a real awakened culture.
A key to that has been a continuing deepening of my way of relating to the discomfort I feel. These last few weeks have been among the busiest of my life, and at times, I’ve felt like I needed a break that, well, there just wasn’t time for. I’ve had to relax quickly and deeply, but also I’ve had to discover that I can be energized by a different power source altogether. And that power source has been, at least in part, sourced out of my experience of discomfort—the creative burn at my own evolving edge!
And I know I’m not alone. We’re all in this crazy, beautiful, churning world together. And we’re all striving, each our own unique, yet interdependent ways, to light up a brighter future.
So, I want to say “Thank You” for participating in this rich inquiry!
You can find links to download all the recordings here.
The conversation will continue this Sunday with Thomas Hübl, who has a lot of insight and vision about this topic of collective awakening. We’ll be talking in person from his home in Berlin.
And in the meantime, to whatever degree is authentic, let’s do the experiment of intending, together, that our hearts’ deep care for the whole is calling for the emergence of new breakthroughs and new insights into these big questions about the emergence of a new culture of cooperation and awakening!
Update — Monday, October 11, 2010
Thank you for these thoughtful and provocative comments!
As I read through all these comments now, I’m impressed again by the sincerity and diversity of the perspectives we can see in this community that has gathered together for Beyond Awakening.
I was especially touched to hear from some of you who are listening to the broadcasts together, and discussing them afterwards—thus combining yourselves with these ideas and extending this conversation beyond the broadcasts themselves.
There are many important themes underlying what so many of you have written. Some of them were addressed, quite naturally, during my conversation last night with Thomas Hübl. (By the way, I just loved that far-ranging, adventurous conversation. Make sure not to miss it! Listen to the recording here!)
Some of the themes had to do with insights through which we are endeavoring to emerge from the tyrannies of our conventional consensus version of reality (or, rather, the “consensus trance”.)
What probably struck me most is that underlying these diverse expressions I sensed your heartfelt care. Some of the expressions reminded me of last night’s dialog with Thomas Hübl — what is most profound, delicate, and tender seems to thrive only in direct, in-the-moment immediacy.
It is interesting that we are going, via our insights, into this realm that’s deeper than our opinions. And yet some of what people have been sharing is intelligent, profound and philosophical. Some people are expressing deep insight, others are advocating for going beyond the mind altogether, and many of us are obviously working to include both dimensions of our being!
It’s synchronistic that our next dialog will be focusing on the intelligence of the heart — and how that can bring about a deeper level of coherence. Don’t forget that this one will also be at 11 AM Pacific, rather than 5 PM (which is the middle of the night here in Germany.)
Please know that even though there’s not time to comment and respond to individual comments, I’m reading them all, taking them to heart, and being nurtured and attuned by our connections!
With sincere appreciation,