´Gaia’s non-linear influence of coincidence can be trusted´, says Clinton Callahan, speaker and workshop facilitator at the 2013 GEN Europe conference. This is one of twelve attitude shifts, he has found so far, that can strengthen a person’s ability to contribute, both locally and globally, to human co-evolution through the Global Ecovillage Network.
Draft notes of a deepening conversation.
1. COINCIDENCE HAS CONSCIOUSNESS
Human beings are Gaia’s biology experiment trying to evolve an organism that is complex enough to sustain self-awareness. But we humans tend to avoid initiation into adulthood, remaining childishly identified with our body and our ego. The result is that we get smart before we get intelligent.
Gaia would like her experiment to succeed, so she provides massive non-linear support for anyone who commits to the emergence of adulthood initiations in globally-networked local-self-governance. When you make bold efforts you may notice Gaia’s support through vibrational coherence, those magical intuitive-leap moments when the improbably perfect thing happens with the right people at the right time.
Helpful Attitude #1: Gaia’s nonlinear influence of coincidence can be trusted.
Try radically relying on coincidence, trusting that things will work out for you when you stay responsive and open to the precessional (sideways) forces. By being clear about what you need to make your next immediate step and simultaneously relaxing your perception filters, the resources you need are guaranteed to be sitting right at your feet. The more you welcome “chance” meetings and “coincidental” collaborations, the more you may find yourself shifting from radical reliance to radical audacity; ecstatically just ‘doing it’.
Remember, it wasn’t until 500 years after Joan of Arc was radically reliant and radically audacious that she was sainted.
Also remember, Europe’s Dark-Age-ending renaissance was brought about by a mere 200 individuals using a new invention called the printing press. We are 2,000,000 individuals using a new invention called the internet. This is not an accident.
2. VANISH YOURSELF
We do not already know how to weave the Global Ecovillage Network. Anyone assuming they do know how, or saying, “This is how it’s done,” may be inadvertently delaying the rapid prototyping and ongoing iterations needed to stay in the global chaotic flow of humanity’s rapid transition into sustainable culture.
Helpful Attitude #2: Welcome Chaos.
I am not here to possess, to know, and to control. I am here to learn, become, connect, and share. I serve by surfing the chaos and making new stuff happen. Try the experiment of changing your mind and deciding to enjoy the discomforts of ongoingly encountering what you did not know that you did not know. The invitation to continuous reinvention is the archetypal death and resurrection show. Through your new decision you intentionally join a flow of rebirth and evolution. Birth can be painful but it is a natural process. You are not alone with your fear and sadness, anger and joy. We are in this together. Keep connecting, listening and, perhaps most importantly, speaking from your heart and soul. Ongoing authentic sharing amongst us helps to digest and integrate all the rapid evolutionary changes that are happening, and to grieve the loss of the old ways, leaving behind your familiar but outdated self-image. Authentic sharing also builds the matrix upon which further consciousness can grow.
3. TRANSMIT BY LISTENING
Weaving the Global Ecovillage Network is like growing a global human meta-being, beginning with only a few neurons. That tiny nucleus of neurons is us, the starter team of each GEN project. Each person’s job is to keep deepening your 4-body (physical/heart/mind/soul) information-and-service-exchange-connections with each other, and to continue extending these same connections to others who are committed to the emergence of a sustainable human presence on Earth. Along the way it is crucial to not be naïve. Discern what each new person’s purpose is: Personal gain? The benefit of all beings? Where are they in their journey of ongoing adulthood initiations? What do they source?
Helpful Attitude #3: When you sense vibrational coherence, welcome the new friend and share the seed crystal distinctions with them through your quality of being. Share the core insights through unhindered listening: I don’t know you and I love you. What are you creating? What resources do you need to take your next step? Connections? Teamwork? Support? Be the space into which they can say anything. Such listening is valuable beyond measure. As soon as you provide value to another community of practice, a critical connection between you is established that strengthens the field of influence for the emergence of sustainable culture.
4. COMMIT FIRST
GEN is a self-organizing and self-responsible movement, yet each orchestra needs a conductor, some kind of navigation, an amorphous, leaderless, harmonious blob-team holding and clarifying the context of sustainability. GEN is catalyzing a planetary 4-body meshwork that looks like the internet, so it needs server nodes organizing the flow of things for the benefit of the whole.
Helpful Attitude #4: If you look around and you can’t see who the conductor is, in that moment the conductor is you.
Start waving your hands and saying what you need to say. If you are serving the space then what you need to say or do is exactly what the Bright Principles of the space need said and done. Move first and improvise in accordance with carefully-neutral self-observation. The stakes are high. The consequences are real. And, you will get feedback! Be grateful for the feedback. Use the feedback as a map for deciding what to shift so you can try again and get better results. You need to commit first, before you know how, because the universe conserves “know-how” and only gives it to people who already decided to do the job. Committing before you know how, creates the authentic necessity for the universe to give you the know-how. When a door opens, leap through and roll, stand up, brush yourself off, and introduce yourself to the locals by saying, “Hello! What can I do for you?”
5. CONNECT CONTRADICTIONS
The GEN core connector team is a central server node in the new global human meshwork, coming alive in response to the stress of peak oil, climate change, exponential population rise, financial collapse, and governmental failure. There is tremendous natural resistance to authentic paradigm change. The most change-resistant thing in the universe is the status quo. But we are in luck! The combined ecological tipping points are enough chaos to crack the status quo wide open, and we can use this crack to our advantage by making new collective actions. New actions transform the status quo (‘the status that is’), into the status commuto (‘the status that is emerging, changing, becoming’). This is a miraculous opportunity. We can move through cracks in the system like wind and water carve the Grand Canyon.
Helpful Attitude #5: We are all on the same team: the Earth becoming more conscious. This means I am continuously becoming. The GEN core team’s job is to duplicate itself with copies that continue to duplicate themselves. Whatever part you play in GEN, your job description and your personal identity and your organizational activities will be evolving from day to day. Things will not at first seem to fit together: Ecology plus village? Transition plus town? Consciousness plus community? Permanent plus agriculture? But you are a human being. You can contain two seemingly contradictory things in the same place at the same time. You can hold the painful recognition of an accurate assessment of existing reality, while at the same time and in the same place holding the radiantly clear vision of something completely different that is possible right now. Holding both current reality and possible reality in the same place creates an energy, a directed tension, a discomfort that accurately drives each tiny step getting from here to there. Let the pain of awareness be your compassionate motor of transformation. Be brave. Make the new actions.
6. RESPOND NOW
Capitalist, patriarchal, and empire are three suicidal paradigms. We did not know this before. There are other ways for human beings to grow food, eat, stay warm, interact, learn, perceive the world, realize plans, celebrate, and live well. Each person is a unique channel. You personally have a piece of the puzzle to provide. What you are thinking matters. No one else sees a problem or an opportunity exactly the same way you do. Your possibility perspectives are needed. Don’t be surprised when the universe calls on you, even if your hand was not raised to volunteer.
Helpful Attitude #6: If an unexpected job lands on your bench, it is your job, so just do it.
If the universe gives you a job to do, you can do the job even if you did not know it before. The details that you see need doing are your details to do, and you can do them with the friends and resources available to you right now. Take clear specific actions to handle each step of the job with integrity. Sustainable culture only works on handled details.
7. EMPOWER OTHERS
When the going gets tough and resources look scarce (time, energy, attention, love, wisdom, money, helpers, humor, appreciation, recognition, etc.), individuals and organizations naturally tend to pull back from connections to conserve their own resources to survive. This is what we were taught to do by the capitalistic patriarchal empire: merely survive. It is a deep teaching that seems logical and reasonable, but turns out to be suicidal, because you can’t make it alone, not no-how, not nowhere. The opposite reflex can be learned. Train yourself to have a new reaction (first in your mind, and then over time in your heart, body, and soul), so that when the going gets tough and resources look scarce, reach out and connect to new people. Build new bridges. Sense the bi-directional flow of energy through your work so that if the flow starts shrinking you immediately modify your ordinary behavior, do strange new things, and go connect with more strangers.
Helpful Attitude #7: Hi. My name is ________. Tell me what you are working on. Here is what I am working on:________.
New people are always there, waiting for your invitation to connect. New people have new attitudes, experiences, energy, resources, contacts, thoughtmaps, tools, style, legends, possibilities, vision, associated networks of light warriors, and new pirate jokes to tell. It is far easier to solve other people’s problems than your own, so work as a team to solve each others’ problems. What is garbage to one person may be treasure to another. Provide unreasonable value to the new people you meet. If you can make them successful in their projects, you are already successful in yours.
8. BELIEVE NOTHING
Each ecovillage is a new country in the global ethnosphere. Your main export is the demonstration that it is possible for people to leave mainstream and find something better than ‘civilization’. Your existence automatically outsources the DNA of the sustainability movement to surrounding communities.
Sudden significant change happens at the local and personal level through radical responsibility (not asking for permission), and radical audacity (just do it). Finding the joy of responsibility involves upgrading your own thoughtmap about what you think responsibility is. Upgrading your understanding of responsibility is as cataclysmic as changing from a flatworld map to a roundworld map.
Between the two maps (when the old thoughtmap has dissolved and the new thoughtmap has not yet stabilized), is the liquid state that occurs during any authentic change process. If there is no liquid state there is no change. The old thoughtmap of responsibility says that if you take responsibility you are guilty, you will be blamed and punished for what happened in the past. You must pay. Only stupid people take responsibility. The new thoughtmap of responsibility says taking responsibility puts you at source, at choice, at cause; it is an honor, and gives you the power, the freedom and the joy of creating a new future.
Helpful Attitude #8: I am responsible.
Responsibility is applied consciousness. Ferret out your beliefs. Beliefs eliminate accountability. Without accountability there is no love. The key to resilience is knowing that your own worldview is bullshit. This means every other worldview is also bullshit. What you get out of this clarity is the power to choose the flavor of bullshit you prefer to live in without having to defend it because you know it is not true; it is all conscious theater. When there is no exchange rate between the currency of your ecovillage and the currency of any other country, then no matter how much money they have, they cannot buy you.
9. MANAGE THE MEANING
The Global Ecovillage Network is a story of mythic proportions. People are dying (literally), to find a legend to trust in and contribute to that which creates a bright future for humanity on Earth. The Global Ecovillage Network is such a legend. While presenting GEN to someone else, you stand at the point of origin of this legend. That is, you take responsibility for being a story maker. Humans do not interact with the world as it is. We interact through our thoughtmaps (stories) of the world. This is why switching from an apartheid map to an egalitarian map is such a big ‘hoo-haw’: If you get a new map you get a new world!
Stories are made with “Is-Glue”. The word “is” does not exist in nature; it is a fabrication of the human mind. We use “Is-Glue” to connect an object, experience, or idea to a meaning. Human beings are either conscious or unconscious meaning makers. In the GEN gameworld we develop talents for conscious story making.
Helpful Attitude #9: There are only two things in life. Bullshit. And nothing.
Being a conscious story maker centers you in the nothing because everything else is bullshit – useful bullshit, interesting bullshit, exciting bullshit, for sure, but bullshit nonetheless. But be forewarned: The greatest source of bullshit with which you must contend is yourself. GEN is not about believing your own bullshit. That would make you fanatical – a true believer. We do need new legends to navigate us through chaotic liquid states and into sustainable cultures. We do need new legends about who we are, what we are doing together, and what is possible for us both individually and collectively. It is your job to ongoingly invent the details of these new legends over and over and over again, authentically, inspiringly.
10. BE THE CHANGE
Every story you tell has a purpose. If you are conscious of the purpose of the story you are telling, then your storytelling serves Bright Principles (such as integrity, clarity, possibility, love, transformation, respect, collaboration, communication, relationship, reliability, community, discovery, learning, personal development, healing, and so on). If you are not conscious of the purpose of the story you are telling then your storytelling serves Shadow Principles (such as superiority, greed, scarcity, competition, I’m right-you’re wrong, I win-you lose, I’m good-you’re bad, I’m bad-you’re good, manipulation, deception, being betrayed to gain the license to take revenge, domination, disrespect, and so on).
Each of us has a Bright World and a Shadow World inside of us. We are archetypal beings. The king or queen of your Shadow World is your Gremlin. Everybody has a Gremlin. Whatever percentage of your Gremlin you do not own, owns you, and runs your life for its own ends, hurting the people closest to you to get Gremlin ‘food’.
Gremlin food is especially created while playing any of the three positions of Low Drama – victim, persecutor and rescuer. Low Drama is an emotional engine powered by unconscious feelings. Poor, sad me plays the victim (even a “responsible” victim is a victim). As soon as you prove you are a victim, then you can create a persecutor to be angry at you, or a rescuer to be scared about you. The moment your Gremlin starts up a Low Drama (several times a day…) then it happily jumps from role to role. Low Drama is any action designed to avoid responsibility. In reality, irresponsibility is an illusion. No matter how much you complain, no matter how resentful you are, no matter how much you blame someone else, no matter how well you justify your position, no matter how right you are or wrong they are, nothing actually changes in Low Drama. The only thing that happens is you get older. The procedure for change is responsibility. Any action that takes responsibility is High Drama.
Helpful Attitude #10: Gremlin is neither good nor bad. It is a source of raw nonlinearity that, if applied unconsciously, can hurt people, and, if applied consciously, can reinvent the gameworld and create a beneficial new future. Clarity about Low Drama and Gremlin gives you the power of a matador choosing where you hold the red cloth. When the Gremlin comes charging at you like a vampire-bull you can either hold the cloth in front of you, or, your can hold the cloth to the side of you. This is a magnificent and powerful distinction.
The mainstream capitalist patriarchal empire, with its profit-driven corporations and its power-wielding mega-governments, is essentially a Gremlin gameworld. If you do not become fiercely awake about your own Gremlin and the words and actions of every other person’s Gremlin, how could you hope to create peace?
11. DEEPEN YOUR RADICAL INTENTION
In each moment and in every circumstance, you consciously or unconsciously choose which culture you live in. Even if you are the only one in a room of a thousand people who is functioning in sustainable culture, you do not have to conform to the predominant culture of your environment. In fact, you shape your circumstances by the way you shape yourself. Most people think the opposite, and think they must adapt themselves to fit their circumstances as a matter of survival. You can now do it the other way around. Herd behavior is an unconscious survival strategy, but it is not required for truly living.
Helpful Attitude #11: I am conscious and my circumstances are not.
Shaping yourself by intention into a clear source of sustainable culture causes circumstances to transform around you. It is not a declaration of war to say, “I disagree. I have a different opinion.” It is simple self-respect. Angela Merkel could have said this and refused to sign the paper when COP15 was coming to an end. It would have made a difference. She had the bodily clarity about what was right, but she did not stand in her clarity and say, “I disagree.” You can learn to live satya graha: nonviolent non-conformance with whatever is non-sustainable. It is a stimulating life.
12. NATURE IS THE MAP
Mother Nature has always been the primary source of energy and inspiration for human possibility. But you have a mind. The more you are centered in your mind, the more the mind asserts that its own fantasy worlds are real. Reality is kicking modern culture’s fantasy worlds in the head. If we had dignity we would say to Gaia, “Thanks for the feedback,” and get on with a rapid learning program.
Helpful Attitude #12: I am the Earth becoming conscious of itself.
You are also the Earth. I see what you are, and I won’t get off it. If you feel disconnected from Gaia, it is not Gaia’s fault. She did not go anywhere. You went, in your head. To come out of your head, practice leaving verbal reality and entering experiential reality. This means putting your attention on your 4 body experience and let the experience continue without words. Avoid the mental chatter that names and classifies and judges good-bad, better-worse, like-don’t like. Words inhabit a much smaller world than direct experience. By constraining your experience to your vocabulary you imprison yourself in verbal reality. In experiential reality, the experience comes first with no words attached. Then when you need to, use words like a paint brush to make a bridge so someone else can experience that experience. Meld with the nonverbal bio-intelligence of Gaia. Breathe. Something better than civilization is waiting for us.