As months go, my July had to rate as extraordinary, as it involved meeting with two groups who represent most of the major visionaries and thought leaders in this field.
On July 7, I attended on a three-day retreat organized by Deepak Chopra and his team, with some 40 other extraordinary men and women at the Serra Retreat, high up in the hills of Malibu.
And what a group: Don Beck, who helped to broker the release of Nelson Mandela; Marianne Williamson, whom I consider the conscience of America; Michael Beckwith, the extraordinary religious leader and visionary; Jean Huston, who single-handedly invented the human potential movement; Barbara Marx Hubbard, self-described as a grassroots futurist; Gregg Braden, wonderful purveyor and synthesizer of ancient and modern wisdom; Bruce Lipton, a brilliant renegade biologist; Dr Joan Boysenzko, noted pioneer in integrated medicine; Debbie Ford, who has introduced ideas about the shadow to millions; her sister Arielle, with her marvellous work about the soul mate and in the entire mind-body-spirit field; and many more brilliant men and women too numerous to mention, but whose profiles are included here. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/meet-the-evolutionary-leaders.html
During three intense days of discussion and reflection, Deepak charged us with an extraordinary task: how do we consciously evolve in these difficult and challenging times?
And indeed, are they dark times or simply times of major and positive change? One of the problems we face is the modern media, that ever present backdrop, systematically cataloguing disaster and imbedding it into our souls.
By way of example, Gregg Braden showed us a trailer from the new movie 2012, which is a terrifying and highly graphic interpretation of this date at the official end of the world.
The fact is, no one knows whether in 2012 we will face Armageddon or a brilliant the flowering of consciousness. Nevertheless, this kind of negative imagery can only impact negatively on us, in one way or another, becoming its own self-fulfilling prophecy.
What we do know is that globalization; the technological revolution; the failure of the economic system; rising geopolitical tensions; environmental and ecological changes; and vast changes in our established social habits all signal that the world is out of balance and undergoing extraordinary evolution – for good or bad.
Last July, during our first meeting, we agreed to start a movement supporting the fact that the future doesn’t simply have to happen to us; it can be what we consciously create. At that time we put out a Call to Conscious Evolution, and asked for people to sign our petition http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-call-for-conscious-evolution.html
Changing the Conversation
Our first job, we concluded at this year’s retreat, was to change the conversation, from negative to positive; I am part of a working group to create a new, alternative media, which accentuates the positive and helps to educate people about the new emerging story.
We set up numerous other groups – to create a new website, to write a collective book, to set up a big live event. We also formed into smaller groups to encourage social and political transformation by calling for a more conscious democracy; to promote better health and healing; to introduce the world to the new and emergent forms of society.
We also stressed the need to work on ourselves first – to change our own inner conversations — a notion that hit home with particular force during the next meeting.
The Most Popular People in the Room
In later July I met with another group of thought leaders and our deep friendship and interpersonal connection throughout the four days was profound – perhaps more profound than I’ve ever experienced. Nevertheless, we were in for a shock when undergoing a small exercise, which was meant to test our own perception of how well we were integrated into the group.
We were asked to use ourselves to create a sociogram — a graphic representation plotting the structure of interpersonal relations in a group. In the center of the room was placed a chair. The chair represented 10 (perfect integration into the group) and the very edge of the room 1 (complete lack of integration). We were then were asked to position ourselves in relation to the central chair as a personal measure of how well we fit in.
As soon as the idea was announced, a huge number rushed to be at the very center of the group, leaving numerous others pushed out and at the edges. Although the intention was obviously to demonstrate show how closely integrated we all felt, what actually occurred is that many people were left out – pushed to very outer perimeter.
It was an extraordinary and powerful moment when we all realized what we’d done. My own take on the moment was that own need for inclusion is so powerful that we’re willing to elbow out anyone else in the rush to be accepted. We are so desirous of fully fitting in and so used to pushing our way forward, that we have forgotten how to come together in full cooperation.
Need for New Rules
Even as so-called leaders, we evidence enormous gaps between our own sense of reality and our rapidly changing conditions around us. All of us need to educate ourselves in new ways of thinking and become better observers and integrators of all the forces shaping us globally. We have to be creative, in designing new cultural systems of every variety, and we have to think globally. Our challenge is to create new rules to live by – a new way of being, another world view of who we are and why we’re here.
Even during the earlier Evolutionary Leader meeting, it was difficult for us to rewrite that story, so imbued are we with our old mechanistic way of thinking and being.
Even for we so-called Evolutionary Leaders, it is still a work in progress, a crisis in our own deeply ingrained thinking and habits. None of us is, in fact, an evolutionary leader yet; we are all students, still figuring out the new rules of the game.
Please Join the Conversation
The big idea — the real means of evolutionary change — is still elusive – even to so distinguished a group. That will only come about after engaging in many new conversations, within ourselves and with many others.
So I want to open this conversation to include you.
How should we tackle the challenges facing us: in climate, politics, education, media, science, business, economics, technology and elsewhere? What would you like to see us concentrating on? What is true evolutionary change? What are some of the right systems?
What true changes have to come about in the human heart?
Please write below — and please pass on this blog to everyone you know to do likewise.