evolutionary leadership: two week reflection20 Jun 2017
ok so it’s been almost two weeks since i/we got back from evolutionary leadership (el). it’s clear to me that are going to be many layers to thinking about this experience. it will absolutely be an iterative process and i imagine it’ll take a long time (forever?) to integrate the learnings. but that process won’t start until it starts so here’s to starting!
for this first pass, i’m going to attempt to talk about the two pieces of the el thinking that have resonated/stuck with me the most: first, on the human response to the evolution pathway. second to the importance of paying attention to and cultativing inner spaces. other things i need to eventually write up include the importance of the journey to and from cortes island, the boat journey we took to a bird colony, my sitting tree(s), the people in the 2017 cohort, my mantra, the impact of the surprising (and yet obvious) way the two halves of the workshop were structured, and the importance/impact of having people in the cohort live in town with me (boston).
the evolutionary pathway
this is going to come out jumbled; sorry in advance.
the overall nature of the universe is entropic: things are constantly falling apart and breaking down. however, there is a subset of the universe that seems to defy that process. some part(s) of the universe is/are getting more complex. earth and the humans on it are somehow in that lane. human evolution has followed the path of this increasing complexity.
this complexity increasing at the scale of the individual as well as collectively. our inventions, technologies, societies, and even consciousness seem to be getting more complex (evolving, if you will). to date, the human response to increased complexity in ourselves and societies has been to speed up. consume more, think more, move more, be more, do more.
the rate of these jumps in complexity is increasing. and for the first time, the rate seems such that there are people alive today who will experience multiple of these jumps within their lifetimes. this creates a huge opportunity and also a huge risk. this is the choice point our species is at. will we harness the power of these evolutionary jumps to leap into a future that is more human and planetary sound? or will we let the flow drive us off an evolutionary cliff and destory the conditions that make it possible for our species to survive on earth?
this is a/the challenge of evolutionary leaders.
learning to feel and shape the collective “we”
note: this isn’t exactly the graphic gibrán shared with us but it’s close enough for now.
in western society, we’re really good at thinking about the objective “i.” our individualist ways make us very comfortable there. we are getting better at thinking about the internal or subjective “i.”
we are also somewhat comfortable (though not skilled at) thinking about the objective “we.” we align ourselves, accurately or not, in groups: families, racial groups, work places, etc.
what we’re not comfortable with is the subjective “we.” there is a belief (can’t remember who from right) that the connection between the members of a group is of equal weight with the individual members who make up that group. you, me, and the connection between you and me are each “things.” this scales to groups of any number of people: you, me, that person, and then the connection between the three of us are four different and equally important “things.”
consequently, just as each person has an internal state of being, so does the connection between us. this is the area where collective consciousness raising and cultural transformation/shifting happens.
there have been people in the past who have dealt with this realm. shaman, prophets, (some) religious leaders all come to mind.
western society has almost completely sidelined this collective inner state and those who work with it.
this, too, is where the work of evolutionary leaders lies.
phew. that was longer and even more jumbled than i thought it would be. even as i wrote it i realize there are gaps in my regurgitation of gibrán’s thinking (and the thinking of others that he shared with us). i need to find a way to fill in those gaps. this piece also definitely, definitely needs editing… but i gotta do other stuff soooooooo… later!
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