The tectonic shifts of power
From the level of the ground it looks like chaos. A pandemic that has given pause to the natural order of things that we took for granted. Neoliberal governments clinging to the last vestiges of relevance. Wealth distributed so unequally. Even the middle class clinging tightly to their property portfolio, their children unable to buy a home.
AirBnB’s have decimated communities. And yet we celebrate the company.
The rise of the ‘Liar Leader’ as Business-as-usual.
Human collective minds manipulated by a celebrated propaganda creating machine that wields more power than almost anyone recognises. If we do recognise the power of the manipulation machine, we often shrug with indifference. The precession of our indifference brewing in ways we cannot imagine.
Hunger still exists. Scarcely a dent made from those noble feel-good days of “Feed the World.”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals worshipped for their stand when in truth they are just another form of whitewashing guilt while continuing to fracture responses that need a whole systems approach.
White men, in 2022, sit around a table at a major conference. Not a woman or person of colour in sight. Why doesn’t any one of these men refuse to sit down at the table?
Domestic violence is not going down. Nor is child rape. Men do not want to acknowledge that they are statistically likely to know men who rape. Anytime a woman accuses a man of rape or sexual assault the woman is still considered the shrill.
The strongman archetype rages, his arrogant indignation that some past history gives him rights to land. Land populated by people with established lives.
Our beautiful home planet is being dug up, twisted, contaminated, pillaged. Our oceans stuffed full of plastic. Our air unbreathable in many cities.
I could go on.
From the level of the Universe we might see things differently
From the level of Universe we exist now in a conversation of woman’s and LGBTQ rights, the education of girls, universal health care and universal basic income. We have institutions designed to have a collective global response, even if they are still dominated by men. We gather clumsily to talk about action to reduce atmospheric carbon.
The arc of humanity continues towards emergence. Imperfect. Slow. Stumbling.
Time at this level is not linear, but Kairotic. Divine. Defying sense-making.
With political lies now the currency of normal, politicians realise, like the child who cried wolf, that their relevance is diminishing.
The giant propaganda machines are being exposed.
People question why billionaires need to be billionaires – knowing that 11 seconds is the equivalent of a millionaire and 32 years of the scale of seconds is the billionaire.
We lurch – humanity – imperfectly, inadequately – towards a higher order, towards Syntropy, the forces of entropy a constant magnetic pull down, back into that cesspool from which we are ever so slowly emerging.
Humans continue to live the Pareto Principle. 80% of those who have a massive sudden heart attack and survive go right back to the same lifestyles that got them to heart disease in the first place. Heart disease, addiction, climate change – for many, even those with the means and ability – change is not of interest. We get to make this choice as individuals and most choose to stay the same.
It is those 20% who change that lead change.
In cycling the lead cyclist pulls the pack behind them.
The 20% pull the rest of humanity. Those 20% who step into the arena and act. That doesn’t make those of us who lead right or wrong. It does raise the question of how we might create the ecology in which more people are invested in supporting a world that works for all.
One of my favourite quotes is this one from Theodore Roosevelt. I have edited it to bring it into 2022 gender equality.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong man or woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt~
In my claim to righteousness, to knowing, I can stand in my own lived experience or my own commitment to spend the time to understand at a deep and multi-dimensional level, the issues I claim to know. It is not my right to speak of complex issues that I only know the superficial background of.
I can speak to character. To integrity. To hypocrisy. To applying the Principles of Nature to how we build everything that supports human coordination and dignity. To Steward Leadership. To human relational dynamics. To creating ecologies of synergy.
And I do.
For those of you reading this, we, the 20% who create and lead change, who live the commitment to our own development and expanded awareness, must continue to become ever more aware of the waters we have drunk our entire lives, the waters that are our culture, our systems and structures – that have created the very landscape in which we find ourselves.
We are in that in-between stage, unplugging from one world and moving to another. Like any change, it is discombobulating.
What is a man? What is a woman? What is a person who lives in neither of these categories and might even morph between the two as a constant state?
What are our rights? For these rights, what are our responsibilities – as citizens, as parents, as business builders, as community members?
What is power?
What is true wealth?
How do we as one Spaceship Earth work together collectively for a future that works for Earth and all her creatures?
How do we do leadership?
What is the relevance of money? Of work? Particularly when most of our jobs are Bullshit jobs, making ‘Obnoxico’ as Bucky Fuller described it?
How do we educate and what for?
How do we make sense of all this?
What is property and who has property rights? What is ownership? How do ownership and stewardship differ?
What are the commons and why do we need to preserve them?
We all must consider how we have been complicit. How we have profited – how our history of colonisation has given many of us privilege and access over those exploited – over the several hundred years our land and money wealth has grown.
How do we move forward? How do we make reparations to those exploited?
More importantly how do we go to the root of the root of systems and culture that exist today with exploitation and colonisation built-in by design.
Ah, there is the rub!
When we do not even know that the tools we use to co-ordinate, convene, remunerate, educate, finance, govern – are all woven from the Pattern Integrity of exploitation, colonisation and power asymmetry, then we have little hope of change.
When a beautiful human shows up wholeheartedly to build an enterprise to solve a problem, caring deeply about humanity and our future, yet uses the very same tools and systems that are completely infected with the Pattern Integrity of exploitation and colonisation by design – how do we hope for a different future? To be clear – rarely does this beautiful human apply these tools knowing how contaminated they are.
The collective spell casting to keep the machine going hard for those who profit the most keeps the majority of us focused on fixing the thing out there rather than recognising that the tools being used to create an enterprise are the Source of what needs fixing.
Let me demonstrate this using the quadrants from Integral Theory – a tool I find useful in ensuring a whole systems consideration.
In the Upper Left Quadrant, the interior of the individual
Do I value politeness over truth and integrity? Have I been trained as a girl to smile at the politician who grabs my hand to shake it against my will? Do I strive for perfection, seeing any form of imperfection as a place for shame? Do I have body shame – some warped desire by culture to have me be a certain way to fit the crowd? Do I fear raising my voice? Speaking truth to power? Am I caught in the belief that I must work harder than anyone else to win? That it is OK for me to almost kill myself with exhaustion to get to the top? Do I never notice the absence of diversity around a table, on a web site, on a panel? Do I refuse to participate because diversity is missing? Do I fail to find the different voice? Do I stay silent when another human speaks with disrespect? Do I stay silent when I am faced with lies and hypocrisy?
In the Upper Right Quadrant – the exterior of the individual
Do I step into the arena for things that matter to me enough to move me to act? Knowing that I cannot respond to everything, rather to go with what is spontaneously arousable within me that keeps me in the arena even when it is hard? Trusting that there will be others with a smilier passion for different causes? Do I act at all times with integrity? Do I own my mistakes without shame – for surely shaming people who make mistakes keeps the current models working as they are? Do I shame others? Do I spend my money where it makes a difference to a world with a future? Do I refuse to have a strong opinion about something I am not qualified to speak of? Or do I join the noisy crowd of Facebook PhD? Do I profit off exploitation and colonisation in any way?
In the Lower Left Quadrant – the interior of the collective
What elements of the culture I live in do I never question? Do I understand what it means to be a citizen – of my local community, or my nation state, of our home planet? Do I act as a citizen, knowing that everything I say and do has a consequence, a precessional effect, and that as a citizen I am responsible for that effect? Do I know that our education system has been designed to keep us working within the very system that is broken – compliant, same same, not asking the dangerous questions, not challenging the status quo, stifling creativity and dismissing systemic sense-making and the practical arts of survival as irrelevant? Is my home a sanctuary that supports the magnificent unfolding of each of the co-habitants fullest expression of their unique Pattern Integrity? Or is it a war zone, or a place for shame, blame and ridicule? Do I throw whole collectives of people into a garbage heap of cultural conditioning – be these people people of colour or diversity, the marginalised, the poor, those on welfare, those I do not understand? Have I fully stepped into their arena? If not, do I have the right to throw them away so callously, missing any level of empathy and understanding?
In the Lower Right Quadrant
Do I actually understand our legal codes and how they were designed to do what they do? What is a Limited Liability Corporation? What is its Pattern Integrity – its design features? Might it have encoded in it the opportunity to avoid responsibility, to profit at all costs, to miss accounting for externalities? What about a Trust? A Not-for-profit? How do we codify ownership? Rights? What is the purpose of financialisation? How does money work? How is it possible for an artefact that has no intrinsic value to make more value off of itself? The monetary equivalent of multiplying zeros by zeros and getting 100’s. Why do we not question this? How are we accounting for value and what are the things we simply refuse to account for, as if they have no value? Love? Care? Parenting? The cost of earth and Mother Nature to grow the tree, make the fossil fuel, birth a flower, populate the ocean? The cost of Mother Nature to clean up the mess? The future cost when we refuse to put the real cost onto the balance sheet? With the technology now available to us, is a representative democracy appropriate? How do we decide who will represent us? How do we fund the campaign? What is the level of transparency needed? How do we fund projects? How do we recognise contribution? Are career politicians acceptable? Where is the Political Integrity Council? Where is the Integrity Council for our own individual selves and for our enterprises and communities?
I watch as the archetypal image of everything that is broken in the world – the strongman white leader addicted to power – flexes his muscles – caring less about the collateral damage – I watch as the men gather around the tables to discuss how we prevent this – and I know we – you and I – must step up even more than ever to lead and live change.
We must excavate our own interiors, unrooting the enculturaled patterns of behaviour that encode the very world we are seeing. We must gather, holding each other to a higher order of account, we must act with integrity in everything, we must create and deploy new systems, tools, structures, codes and technology.
We must see the whole. Understand the whole – the interweaving complexities of all of our human-constructed systems.
And then, we must step into the arena, holding fiercely to the idea of a more beautiful world that we know is possible – refusing to contaminate our beautiful Source Idea with the very thinking, tools, systems and world views – that brought us to this precipice.
We must be fierce. Impolite to the power structure that insists on keeping power at all costs. Respectfully disrespectful against cultural norms that tell us how to behave. We must consider consequences. Deeply. Thoughtfully. We must hold the intrinsic value of all of life as sacred. At the same time refusing to allow exploration, colonisation, and violation of integrity any oxygen at all.
If you have struggled to understand what we do in Syntropic World – this is what we do.
A whole systems, whole behavioural, whole cultural, whole values and purposed based response to create a world with a future for earth and all her creatures.