Showing Up and the Great Reset

Showing Up and the Great Reset

​I want to share some changes with you, and also ask for your sense of what I’m noticing – a boulder in the middle of the path. 

That boulder in the middle of the path has different sides but it’s symbolized by the Great Reset. Have you heard of it? The Great Reset is the 4th Industrial Revolution, what Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum calls “a fusion of physical, digital and biological identities.” Vaccine passports hint at the fusion and may be a precursor of what a fuller rollout looks like. A coming social credit system, already well along in China, has permissions granted for what we used to take for granted, based on compliance to state, commercial and banking recommendations. Control extends to “virtually” all parts of life. I won’t be going into it here as my focus is on how it impacts the inner and consciousness work we’re interested in. (The person who explains this most clearly for me is Alison McDowell. A great example is here, starting at the eight minute mark.)

My sense is that the powers-that-be are set firmly on the Great Reset and that it’s not so much a future as a present thing. But how do we put its agenda together with our own? How do we show up in our own lives, for the Reset.

I don’t know if they can accomplish the Great Reset but one thing seems certain: This fusion is the stated plan of many of the world’s most wealthy, powerful and networked (in a business sense) people. I take what they say seriously. Covid, masking, lockdowns, vaccine passports, the war in Ukraine too could very well be connected to this stated agenda too as many people who’ve risked their lives work and livelihoods to speak up have said. A Central Bank Digital Currency is on the way that it will render cash obsolete and make access to funds dependent on compliance to what corporate, bank and government interests think is good for you.  This influences  our ability to determine what’s good for ourselves and our family and to speak freely without fear of punishment.

So this is the boulder in the middle of the path, as I see it. But here’s where it gets interesting.

The two worlds of consciousness and inner work (on the one hand) and the deepening of global control on the other, don’t talk to each other. They are two solitudes and not in the popular consciousness of the spiritual community. On the Integral Forum, for example – Integral Philosophy is a sophisticated, widespread and useful map based on levels of consciousness – I found it hard to find mention of the Reset. It’s largely outside of the spiritual Overton window of what we can politely speak about.

Is that true? Am I missing something here? I’d much benefit from your perspective and contribution here.

There’s lot that can be done. One we name something and face it we find a truer relationship to it. We know from group work that when different perspectives are held in consciousness, a collective intelligence starts to form that’s greater than the sum of the parts. Shift and transformation happen when all the parts are in the room, and when we are. 

How is the Great Reset showing up for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings on this.

Consciousness and the Great Reset

Consciousness and the Great Reset

I’m interested in spiritual perspectives and solutions to what’s happening in the world. I’m also interested in what’s going on out there on the ground. It can seem as if these two worlds exist independently of each other. To use a very Canadian expression, one drawn from a long-ago book by Hugh MacLennan about the French and English in Canada, they’re two solitudes.

I’ll share what I’m seeing and sensing, for better or for worse, trusting that it’ll be in service to bridging two very different modes of understanding. Assume it’s “as Andrew sees it today.” It’s not the truth and not the final word but a foray into a challenging area. We don’t talk about it much, perhaps sensing how contentious it is and how much trouble we can get into.

I acknowledge that there are two sides. I also think that this is a psychological operation, a battle for the definition of what’s real and true today. You must make up your own mind

It seems to me that what’s been happening over the last few weeks in Canada (where I live) isn’t primarily about Canada. It’s about the globalist and transhumanist agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Great Reset to completely transform every aspect of life by 2030. Canada is a front line player in this agenda, an agenda which is being rolled out with slightly different timelines and agendas everywhere. Everywhere implies that the rollout is spatially located but that’s not true. It’s rolling out in the invisible world of cyberspace control and world collaboration in every sphere. Governments, technocratic corporations, banks, legacy media and more are part of this trust. The anger and mistrust in Canada is a response to this. The mandates and lockdowns in Australia, disrupting entire populations where there are almost no cases, is another front-line example of the same rollout. But as I see it, everyone everywhere is part of it.  

What we see happening in Canada are mostly downstream effects of something happening upstream. We’re like people building on a riverbank when a great flood is surging down the river. Goodwill, earnestness and prayers will not help those who misidentify the problem for a long time.

I appreciate independent researcher Alison McDowell who connects many of the dots for me. She connects the larger agenda of the WEF with the earlier subjugation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. As it was for them, our local economies and livelihoods are being brought to heel in order to being a free people into subjugation and dependency. Promises are made and not kept as a way of bringing the populace to powerlessness and, effectively, slavery. Now. we too are being herded into the loss of our ways of livelihoods. We too receive compliance rewards for agreeing to the diminution of our freedom and punishment for calling it out and resisting. This process is only beginning.

From this perspective we’re pretty much helpless without recognizing the extent of the problem. As has been pointed out in the spiritual literature, a first step in liberation is in realizing that one is in chains – asleep. The effect of the plan of the WEF and the Great Reset, is an end run around democracy and its pillars – the constitutions and bills of rights, free and informed press and more.

Why is this happening in Canada? Perhaps because the truckers stepped up. Perhaps Canadians’s agreeableness may be mistaken for weakness. Another factor may be the fact that many prominent members of the Canadian government are graduates of the WEF’s young global leader’s program. These include two party leaders (Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh) as well as multiple high-ranking members of Trudean’s government. These include Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance), Karina Gould (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development), Francois-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry), Ailish Campbell (Ambassador to the EU), Elissa Goldberg (Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic Policy), Renee Maria Tremblay. (Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of Canada).  Merkel, Macron and Putin are also all graduates of the young global leaders program.

The agenda of the WEF implies all the measures we’re seeing now. The cheery catchphrase, “You will own nothing and you will be happy,” says it nicely.  

This agenda is also an assault on the church and the people’s reliance on the almighty. The Great Reset is an attempt to replace an individual reliance on God with a group reliance on state control through technology. The direction is toward one blockchain to control them all.  

What just happened in Canada is a skirmish in a much larger fight for freedom from a future of forced social compliance. As I see it, the push toward compliance will come in wave after wave. The end of one will mean that another will be along almost immediately. We will continually think we’ve gotten to the bottom of it only to find that that wasn’t the bottom. Naivete is dangerous and could be catastrophic.

From this perspective, the direction will include waking up from our assumption that the system has our best interests at heart. It’ll look like turning toward each other, deepening friendships, telling the truth, persevering, risking showing up in community. All things we’re not very used to doing. It’ll mean closer and trusting relationships with others, especially locally. Online connections will be important because relatively few people see what’s coming and allies will often be far away. All these directions are at odds with conventional life in our communities so we’ll be inclined to stay silent. The risks of looking foolish or vulnerable for speaking to it can be profound.

But what do you think, good reader? Your feedback is gold. It helps others make up their own minds about what they think and feel. It’ll help me know where you”re at and be reflected in future groups and ongoing explorations. I’ll have much more to say about it myself.

Protest that Endures

Protest that Endures

The trucker’s protest near where I live in is a tremendously powerful force for change. Jonathan Pageau, an excellent youtuber writing on “The Symbolic World,” compared it to the siege of Jericho where “the walls came tumbing down,” as the song has it. The energy is excited, quite clear and part of what we need. I say this to preface what I’d written on protest a few weeks ago, which I’ll share here . . .

I like this from writer and farmer, Wendell Berry. Protest that endures is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.

I love the question and I want to respond to it.

 but I’d like to up the ante on it or at least ask something else first!

What are those qualities of heart and mind that would be destroyed by acquiescence? If we’re to preserve them we must first know what they are. As it is, we are by no means certain to know because we ourselves are changing. All the ways we would measure and know who we are have shifted and are shifting further.

This change in identity has been going on for a long time, but now faster and faster. It’s hard to overstate how profound the changes are. For a very long time, our sense of agency and community belonging has failed to keep up with the rate of change so we’re likely feeling behind. We’ve been uprooted.

We might trace this movement back to the enclosures in the British Isles as, beginning in the sixteenth century, public lands were moved over into private ownership, thoroughly uprooting large numbers of people in large parts of the country. More recently and just a couple of generations ago we might have been part of an intact faith community and shared other cultural and communal values with our neighbors. That’s no longer the case. Nor is it the case that that the social cohesion is easy to make up psychologically or even spiritually. The result is unprecedented levels of psychological ennui that affects individuals and makes its way into all the institutions of society.

Everyone from the priest in his chapel to the owner of the bowling alley feels it. And how does it look, this ennui?   

From the inside a great number of us feel caught in an isolating personal performance as we try and look like we’re succeeding enough to get by with all this uprooting. We try and save face by acting normal. I tried to do this passing for normal a lot. I can only say that failing at performance as a way of life is better than succeeding at it because at least, knowing we’re in chains, can keep us alive to the possibility of waking up. And there is such a possibility.

People caught in an isolating personal performance don’t know where to start deal with a concern that is ill-defined or even invisible. We may just feel the effects. Everything goes topsy-turvy in that world and feels off balance. We may lack trust and find  “the other” starts to look like an enemy. We may ally with people on the basis of crude symbols and slogans that are easily manipulated by markets and governments. Social media tempts us into belonging to causes and perspectives we’re not sure what to feel about.

So back to the original question, how do we discover what the qualities are we want to maintain. And  how do we actually maintain them? There aren’t easy answers. Not now and not ever. These are the important questions that people trying to wake up – not to mention philosophers – have always wrestled with.

The answers aren’t a concept because mere concepts, unless taken fully to heart and lived aren’t very valuable. Think Facebook slogans.

Any answer is a work in progress, a response from now. I want to say what interests me about this because I don’t hear it often. As I see it we work with others on the things that we know in our heart of hearts we run away from and distract ourselves from. We work with others on this, the more committed and taken seriously the better. We take these questions to heart as if our lives depended on them because in a real sense they do. Avoiding the challenges always set us up to get involved in more trouble, not less, because this is a time of change and what’s in our heart needs to be part of that change. We take note of the tendencies we inherited and gathered from our families of origin, because though these may be unseen and invisible – they usually are – they remain incredibly influential. We take the things we hide and run from and bring them to consciousness and to our peers to work with. As we do that, perhaps we find our role in the public story that’s around us.

As I see it, those are ways we can move toward protest that endures, one that brings what’s most important to us into it.

By the Light of Collective Intelligence

By the Light of Collective Intelligence

Much depends on the strength of the lantern we hold up to see where we are, our surroundings and the possible paths through the deep woods around us. A dim lantern won’t shine deep into the dark. It won’t clarify the looming shadows.

How do we make our lantern burn brighter and more stable, since all else will follow it?

“What makes lanterns burn bright is their connection to other lanterns. What makes intelligence come into its own is being directly connected to other intelligences.”

The answer is: We combine it with other lanterns.

This is not additive mathematics, one plus one plus one. No.

The light that helps you see what you need to see is the light that’s more than the sum of the parts.

This light is an exact parallel with collective intelligence – an intelligence that’s more than the sum of the individual intelligences that make it up. The concept of more than the sum of the parts doesn’t make mathematical sense. The concept doesn’t help you feel that extra quality, a kind of pre-existing Presence that you hadn’t noticed until now.

What makes lanterns burn bright is their connection to other lanterns. What makes intelligence come into its own is being directly connected to other intelligences. This is a felt experience, immediate as a kiss. It’s an actual connection, not a concept.  

Connection, my friends, connection. ​​Being right or being wrong, and all the other ways we make differences between us matter more than connection, matter not. They smoke up the glass on the lanterns. ​

Though it seems counterintuitive, knowing other’s opinions on important issues doesn’t make the lantern light stronger either. Being curious about the people who hold the opinions, being interested in their lives, makes it burn brighter. But opinions, not. (I don’t mean that opinions don’t have a place but that they’re a function of connection or common illumination. Without connection they’re divisive.)

This is the time for lanterns, illuminants out there in the darkness finding the way.

I think this process is well alive in the world. An ​brightening is happening and available for those who earnestly join with others in pursuit of the common good.

Or so it seems to me. Take a moment and tell us what you think.

Neighborhood is the New Wilderness

Neighborhood is the New Wilderness

I have to say it again: Neighborhood is the new wilderness. Love that. Wish I’d said it myself but I didn’t. I do want to go to the neighborhood wilderness though: build a little cabin . . . off-grid, wood stove, birds and animals, my sweetie.

No I heard the phrase, almost in passing, day before yesterday from Peter Block in a little “workshop.” His book Community: the Structure of Belonging was so important to me when I first encountered it ten or so years ago. The book is about imagining a future that is distinct from the past. At heart it’s about a new kind of conversation, one we haven’t imagined yet.

IBuckminster Fuller famously said that to change something you don’t fight the existing reality, you build something that makes that reality obsolete. That’s another way of saying a future distinct from the past. Peter’s work is the best way I’ve seen how to do this! .

The opposite of the existing reality is to make friends out of the strangers in the neighborhood. Being amazed and very happy to learn that our unknown neighbors have deep dreams and talents and gifts just like us. And big hearts just like us.

The new “getting to know you” is also the new activism. It’s the revolution, the one that’s been dreamed of for so long. It’s not about overthrowing evil tyrants. They can fall in their own time. In the meantime, we can do our own work

Could we have the great rest instead of the great reset? Yes, but not yet. Freedom takes time and practice freeing ourselves. It takes something besides fighting the enemy.

The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years before they left and then they were 40 years wandering in the desert before they made it to the kingdom. The people weren’t all united on leaving and of course, the Pharoah didn’t want them to go. Seven plagues fell on Egypt while the Pharoah said no but finally he had to let the people go. We already have many of the plagues falling on us. How long before we leave the consumer culture that is enslaving us?

Come join this small group conversation on Thursday at 11 Eastern time. We’ll practice making the polarization obsolete and welcoming strangers and each other. We are using zoom (maybe practice local later). We’ll be in groups of three and then together reflecting on what we’re noticing. It’s free to join.

If you CAN’T make it but get the idea, share this email with a friend and copy me. Friends can join my mail list at

We’ll do some other free experiences. Later there’ll be a closed group that will give opportunity for a mutual social field that can support all of our deepest dreams coming true. If any of this appeals to you, take a wild risk and jump in for something different  this Thursday. 11am Eastern, 4in the UK, 5 in western Europe, etc.

This is an exciting seed of a new direction. Feel free to jump in even if you’re not sure what I’m raving about. The new wilderness is under our nose but we so often miss it. Hope you’ll join us and see what can happen for you. ​

More Connection, Less Analysis?

More Connection, Less Analysis?

In challenging times like this, we need rich mutual connection at least as much as analysis.

Analysis is interesting but not powerful. Connection shows us what’s possible – possible for us personally and together. We need participation more than greater ideological clarification and purity. We need to hear and be heard, to build ideas together. It helps greatly to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

I’m starting a free bi-weekly small groupto do this Collective SenseMaking starting November 11.  Call it Final Participation More below. Check if you’d like to join in.

Often we relegate the entire psycho-spiritual side of ourselves to our private meditations. It’s a cultural norm. The benefit of spiritual and human connection is much amplified when it’s brought out into the open in a shared spirit of collaboration. .

Again heartfelt connection is more beneficial for us, individually and collectively, than more refining of our ideological purity. 

Connection includes the recognition that we’re in this together. 

There’s  a price for thinking someone’s not in it with us. They feel we’re not in it with them. We miss the good and necessary things that come from mutual connection and support. Disconnection means that advantageous things fail to happen and pass by unnoticed. Disconnection is a symptom of the breakdown of community and it’s community that’s supports us.

 “When you break up the individuals from a community into individual units, they become disempowered because it’s the collective consciousness and the collective energy of the group from which power comes.”  – Bruce Lipton

We’re a long way from community at present. I often am! We’re a little like plants growing in an impoverished soil. The important community nutrients are not in wild abundance.

The strong emphasis that we place on the correct analysis of what’s happening in the world around us – the vaccines and passports, the Great Reset, corruption and deception – all these tend to reinforce a sense of scarcity and alarm. The resulting effects on the individual and the community promote a Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder I don’t mean that we’re helpless before it, only that there’s a pressure in that direction that the less well resourced among us are vulnerable to. Social distancing on the street, persistent isolation, long-term fear and alarm, concern over livelihood, anticipation of worsening future are all part of a common pattern. They weaken and threaten the social bonds of connection.

It becomes harder to connect to the deeper meaning of our lives, the potentially limitless spiritual reserves that surround us and the human community. Hope dims at moments and we can’t see it. Connection is stretched. When we try and reach out to another it may not be well received, not because the impulse wasn’t good but because the sense of disconnection was stronger than the reach in that moment.

A powerful antidote is what can happen in small groups – the being-together, the synchronicity, the surprise. Pre-Covid I hosted hundreds of hours of zoom calls, often with my friend Vihra Dincheva, to explore the mysterious more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts thing that’s been so valuable. When Covid struck, I keenly felt the intrusion of an alien and socially disruptive force in the collective social field. My sensitive BS antennae were abuzz and they still are. 

It feels important to plant new small group seeds now. What’s possible for us, individually and collectively? 

I invite you to  

Final Participation

No promises in this experiment. Sometimes it’s gold and sometimes tin but I welcome you to come on in!

​Thursday, November 11th at 11am Eastern time (4pm UK etc.)

Final Paticipation

Conversation time is  Come join in – register here! .Andrew

A Simple Map for Where We’re At

A Simple Map for Where We’re At

What’s this? It’s my system map of our current social situation. Looking at the relationship between elements often brings clarity because you see a system, a set of relationships, rather than just isolated parts.

Your system map might be different and either of ours might change with time, but here’s how it looks today. 

The Purple and Green figures facing each other are the unchecked feelings of polarization we see around us. They’re the antipathy between the vaccinated and the not, Trump and Biden, CNN and Fox News, vaccine passport enthusiasts and those who want nothing to do with it. These two are facing off, at odds with each other. Although many polarizations can come in here, for simplicity’s sake I’ll choose what for me is the current and strongest one: the rift between the vaccinated and the not.

A polarization tends to form in the social field when people feel unsafe and threatened and don’t see an easy way out. It’s stronger when it’s been going on a long time and the parties are stressed. Then there’s pressure to push back against the offending other.

If Purple and Green representatives were side by side or facing in opposite directions, they would suggest a different meaning. But here their positionality is not neutral with respect to each other. I read into this tableau that the two polarized parts, facing each other as they are, have strong feelings. Each projects onto each other a sense of “I’m right and you’re wrong”, or “I belong and you don’t”. This is the same tendency that carried to extreme leads countries to go to war. It can lead parts of society to scapegoat others too. We’re clearly not there yet but, lest we become complacent and forget, we’ve not outgrown scapegoating . Germany in the 40s, Rwanda, Cambodia, the Rohingyas and Uyghurs, the Roma all show us that.

The Yellow square is observing the face-off from outside. It’s involved as a witness but it doesn’t take the side of either of the others. It’s able to resist the tendency to lose itself in the blame game. Because it’s not lost in the polarization it’s able to see more and know more.

The Yellow representative is an adult perspective. It doesn’t become embroiled in blaming the others. By contrast, the Purple and Green are relatively immature. Like all polarized parts they feel pressure to resort to unresolved dynamics from the past in order to justify their rejection of the other. Because they haven’t

Here’s what may be the most dynamic and valuable part of all this: The three colors represent positions or stations, not immutable characteristics. People can be in one position, then another, then the third.  We can shift between one position and another – and we often do over time. We can intentionally move to another place to check it out too. In fact in a system that feels stuck or uncomfortable it really helps to intentionally try out the other positions.

In this case you’d put pieces of paper or some other placeholders on the floor and stand in each of the positions. See how it is to be there with the others. You can start and end in your preferred position and return to it to see if anything changed.

Taking multiple perspectives tends to shift each one of the parts, bringing insight and clarity as to what’s happening. This work can also be done in a group in which individuals stand in to represent the different positions and report on what they’re experiencing. I’ll be starting such a group shortly and will tell you what I have in mind next week.

A Revealing Question

Watching the Covid drama and it’s many themes is like watching a blockbuster movie. Emotions flow through us quickly reflecting the drama we’re seeing.

But this isn’t a movie. It’s real life human drama. All dramas have twists and turns. Great dramas have enormous twists and turns that somehow also make human sense. Great dramas connect us to a transcendent dimension and to the simple truths of being human. The outcome of the action is linked to the character of the protagonist. There’s an inevitability to how things work out in the end. It’s the opposite of the “God from the machine,” the deus ex machina that was a feature of the lesser Greek dramas.

So here’s a question.

Is it possible that what we’re watching right now is a Great Drama and that it’s about us? Could all this be a drama about our character and our imagination? Ours individually and collectively?

It’s a tricky question that can’t be answered logically, step by step. G.K. Chesterton, a pre-eminent social critic in the early part of the last century, shows a way of approaching this kind of question: “Logic, then, is not necessarily an instrument for finding truth; on the contrary, truth is necessarily an instrument for using logic—for using it, that is, for the discovery of further truth and for the profit of humanity. Briefly, you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.

Chesterton suggests that how we answer the essential question depends on something in us.

Each of us will answer differently according to what we’ve experienced and felt to be true. Rather than something black and white, perhaps the answer lies in opening to a different imagination, a different realm of experience than what we’re used to.

My own imagination has been informed by many conversations, private and group, in which we’ve shifted to a deeper sense of possibility for ourselves. As is the case in the great dramas, something unmistakeably greater than ourselves has repeatedly opened up and shown itself. 

Many or most of us have been touched by the presence of that higher and transcendent meaning.It’s quite beyond the polarities. 

Awakening to it is the most interesting and compelling thing in this Covid space. I suspect it’s the source from which our answers will come.


The Singular Place of Dual Blessing

The Singular Place of Dual Blessing

The conscious meeting of the “I” and the “We”

When the “I” and the “We” co-inhabit the room, a striking new evolutionary possibility opens up. I call it The Singular Place of Dual Blessing.


Though the word “we-space” has been around for a little while now, it turns out, as many have seen and as you’ll see here too, that the implications of it are as vast as the discovery of the Americas was 500 years ago. It’s a new world in here.

My own consciousness explorations, like those of many of you no doubt, are unorthodox. I spent thousands of hours in men’s groups hearing individual stories and noticing, with relaxation and delight, the groupness, the extra “we-factor” presence that came from being together. I also, after a dissolute youth as a hippy, spent decades meditating mostly outside of the traditions, not being part of a sangha or with a given view of the world. I say mostly outside because I did have some teachers, well-known and not, and was deeply instructed by the way of some non-dual teachers. I learned to work with what was true for me deep down in a bodily sense. I also spent a great deal of time and energy feeling deeply like an outsider, anxious and afraid and self-recriminating, while maintaining a slender tap root down into a non-dual consciousness through my meditation and group pursuits.

All our ways are unique and worthy of a deep “yes.” For me the persistent sense of exclusion and dispossession, gave me a deep feeling for the invisible rules that govern “we-spaces.” It helps to be an outsider to see what inside looks like!

I sought and fought for groups that an “us” with no “them,” where our common humanity was the bond, even if we seldom used such lofty language. Intellectually and personally, I came to see the world as moving toward, and needing to move toward, a common “us,” one with no “them.”   

The biggest turnaround is one that is really at the heart of this essay. I’ll point to it quickly here and outline it in some detail later because I really do think it significantly alters the view of the “I-space We-space” landscape and I think it’s generally not seen. (In this case, the fact that it’s usually overlooked is an indicator of its centrality.)

It’s that the groups we belong to, including family, work and spiritual communities, put invisible pressure on us to behave, think and feel in a certain way. We conform to this pressure invisibly and seamlessly out of love and loyalty to the group members.

The trouble is, this out-of-consciousness conformity to group norms creates a conflict with the depth of the self. Now the “I” must suppress its own knowing so as not to jeopardize its good standing in the group. While out of awareness, this dynamic is active nonetheless.

We can’t resolve the conflict while the loyalty to the group remains unseen.

When it is in awareness, a new possibility arises. I call it The Singular Place of Dual Blessing.

Let’s look at the we-space and the I-space separately, and see just how it works that we miss a crucial piece of each . . . ongoingly. Adding in the missing piece profoundly shifts the experience of both self and group. But let’s look at them one by one, starting with the group.


What we don’t notice as we go about our lives is that one of the many things that spiritual life or consciousness, is, is a system. It’s a “field.” (A “field” is analogous to a physical terrain; it’s a living space or theatre where our relational life takes place, especially when this is being noticed.)

No, we don’t notice that we live in a system or field. Instead we tend to live in a private ego world!

For example, we think that it’s us and our god and our meditation and our mindfulness. And it is all of these things! But all of these are first part of a system, a field.

It’s evident that we don’t think it’s a system because the literally millions of books and articles on all aspects of individual-self development and personal psychology that have emerged since the dawning of the science of psychology have virtually all assumed the individual perspective.

The result is we tend to think that development is self-development and the spiritual work is personal work. As I hope to make clear though, that’s only partially true and that limited perspective dooms our efforts to failure or limited success.

Here’s why this is so important and so little understood!

Each of us already belongs to many circles of greater or lesser personal importance. These circles include our family (both of origin and destiny), our workmates, our church perhaps, our schoolmates, people of our color, sex, ethnicity or language . . . and more. We’re already in relationship everywhere and flow in a sea of these multiple relationships!

So my friends, here’s the kicker!

Each of our we-space circles has a consciousness of its own . . . and unspoken rules of behavior and attitude for belonging. 

And these unspoken rules determine what membership in that group obligates us to act like and to feel like inside ourselves.

This is as true in higher consciousness circles as it is in the bowling league.

One of the reasons we don’t see this happening is that we’re blinded by a root assumption that’s below consciousness it’s so taken for granted. It’s the assumption, deep in our psyche and deep in the historic experience of being human, that there is an “us” and a “them.” Each group or circle we’re in forms itself as a little “us” that’s distinct from “them.” Members become an “us” because we agree that this is “us” and that’s “them.” 

“Us” and “them” are foundational assumptions of the present level of evolutionary development for almost everybody[1]. Moving past that unconscious assumption is one way of describing what the worldwide awakening now possible for us, is about. We’re moving toward a world where there’s only us.

 (Are you with me so far, at least in a checking out way, because a major point is coming? If you’re not, please write and tell me where I lost you – or where I got it wrong!  I’d really like to know!)

All the preceding was a setup to tell you this:

Our membership in circles and networks puts a powerful pressure on us to conform uncritically and automatically to the consensus worldview, internally and externally, moment to moment, as the condition of our membership.

I’m talking about an unconscious pressure to think, feel, and behave in a certain way. Group members are under an invisible pressure to think of and behave toward the leader and members in a specific way and to treat group habits in a certain highly proscribed way. Moreover, a part of us (a watching part of the ego) is delegated to continually watch that we “do it right” by the group. And we hate to get it wrong! This pressure looks and feels like loyalty to the group and as I mentioned, it’s more or less entirely invisible and out of awareness.

When we look at a scene of long-term conflict in the world, we easily see the systemic aspect: the Irish “troubles” between Catholics and Protestants, for example; or Sunni and Shia stresses or Balkan enmities.

What we seldom see though is that we’re all in just the same evolutionary position as these conflict areas when we’re locked into the “us” and “them” space.

The more important the group is to us personally the harder it is for us to see our acquiescence to its worldview. (The more we’re identified with it.) [2]

Moreover we’re very likely to be already in the “us” and “them” space because that’s the inherited evolutionary consciousness. We’re very prone to think it’s “us” who have it right and “them” who don’t.

And the unconscious rule of belonging to “us” is to not question that. What’s conscious is that loyalty, etiquette, breeding and politeness demand no less of us!

What we don’t see, because it’s a group rule to not talk about it, is that our own culture has placed powerful systemic pressures on us to conform to a specific way of seeing the world.

And conscious evolution and “awakening” are not a part of that way!

This makes awakening really difficult for us! But is awakening really difficult, or is simply that it’s hard when we’re identified with a system that forbids it? In a system that makes awakening and conscious evolution its mandate, it could be that not awakening is difficult.

But I get ahead of myself!


How do we miss seeing the systemic connection if it’s so common?

What is in awareness around this is our conscience. A “good conscience” is what strengthens our sense of belonging to the groups we belong to. A “bad conscience” threatens our belonging.

I claim no authorship of this amazing and very powerful idea. The role of conscience is a central insight of Bert Hellinger, founder of modern Family Constellations.

Just like our balance orients us to what standing straight feels like in the moment, our conscience orients us to what feeling and acting right are in the moment.

We align to the we-space’s hidden rules seamlessly, much like we catch our balance automatically when walking. The system’s rules for behaviour define normal and right in every way and our conscience orients to them unerringly.

This orientating to consensus reality is a social agreement that we have only limited control over because it’s invisible and outside of conscious awareness. The rules for membership are shared intuitively within “the field” of all the members and individuals. In fact, the invisible perception of the membership rules and the related lines of cooperation and agreement between members is what a group field is.

The rules are unconscious unless spelled out

In a usual group, the operating rules are entirely unconscious. They didn’t arise because we thought them through and decided they were a good idea. They came because they’re the consensus reality in the group and we wanted to be in the group. Like the side-effects of a drug, they invisibly attend the group reality we adopt.

Without working directly with our human propensity to adapt to systems, we’re at only limited choice in any particular group we’re part of.

Unless we’re consciously noticing the group’s unconscious system, we’ll tend to subvert our individuality to it.


So far we’ve been talking about the power of the group. What we haven’t talked about is the equally important contribution and gift of our individuality to the whole. Western culture is very clear on the centrality of the individual and celebrates it continually. What it misses entirely is the vital context that individuality nest in: the group or community.  

Our individuality is the necessary other pole to the group. But let’s acknowledge our individuality here:

You are a unique one-of-a-kind individual and your particular gift is needed for our awakening! That’s literally true: your particular gift, the you of you is a vital key we need.

If you don’t give it, we’ll have to get there another way. Nonetheless, you have a way into the heart of the matter that is unique to you.

For all our culture’s lip service to individuality, it’s much more invested in “us” and “them” thinking.  A mature individual recognizes that others are individuals too, something more than “them.” To the extent that we buy into there being a “them” that’s not also “us” we sell out the magnificent uniqueness that we are.

It’s a paradox but only the true individual, only the individualized individual who knows her uniqueness, can know that we’re all the same in that each of us is utterly unique. And not only unique but uniquely needed in this awakening game.

But if we’ve given up our individual depth in order to belong to the limited group, we’re unable to awaken. The group consensus reality acts as a limiter we defer to without realizing it.

And conversely, the awakening world needs the unique depth of each of us to know itself!

When we can entertain both of these at the same time, we’re at the Singular Place of Dual Blessing.


Now we’ve come to the place when both our individual perspective and feeling, and the larger whole are in awareness at the same time. Now we start to see that the “them” we were keeping out is also our own depth.

Now we see more deeply that the profound problems of the interconnected world – pandemics and social control, war, poverty, resource depletion, environmental system decay – can’t be excluded or made into “them” in any way.

They too are “us.”

We see that in a real way, the future is up to us.

Frail, human, uncertain, unfinished, unheroic us!

Welcome to the privilege of starting again in this moment! Welcome to conscious evolution! Welcome to the Singular Place of Dual Blessing!

You’re fully you, you’re fully in relationship with a larger whole that is all of us. There’s no escaping, not really.

It’s true that one way or another, your ass is going to get kicked. Like the biblical truth that will “set you free,” the Singular Place of Dual Blessing will set you free but sometimes it might piss you off a little

We don’t really get to go back to sleep. But then sleep wasn’t so much fun anyway, was it?

We don’t get a manual or a roadmap. But the good news is we don’t need a roadmap. The good news is we get to discover that who and what we have are enough.

Road maps are for sissies who think that someone else’s way is good enough. It’s not! There’s somewhere to go that only you can go. And the whole needs you if it’s to get where it needs to go!

From the Singular Place of Dual Blessing you realize that there’s something to do that only you can do and that there’s no real choice except to do it. The fact you still don’t know how to do it and never will doesn’t lessen the call. None of us do but that doesn’t change a thing. The Singular Place doesn’t need you to know.

The Singular Place of Dual Blessing is beautiful beyond description. It’s a bitch. It’s gonna kick your ass.

But deep down you know you wouldn’t want it any other way!

[1] As many of you “evolutionaries” and integralistas know, the perception of “us” and “them” is  related to the evolutionary development or “altitude” of the perceiver and is primarily visible at “first tier”(the relatively low levels of) consciousness. This is true but nonetheless, I contend that not specifically seeing the pressure to conform created by the group is a major impediment to moving into second tier consciousness.

[2] All we-spaces based on “us” and “them” have as a prime directive that it’s rude or worse, to draw attention to the group rules for belonging. They pretend to be talking about reality not about their pre-judgment. They imagine there are no rules.

The Shame and the Gift

The Shame and the Gift

(Part 1 of 2)

When you don’t speak out it’s a millstone around your neck. It plugs into a sense of shame and unworthiness, the feeling that your voice isn’t worthy of being heard. From there it’s just a hop away to the sense that “my experience doesn’t matter.” And that’s almost the same as “I don’t matter.”

We evolved in tribes and deeply want to be connected to the tribe or group. We want to contribute to it and we want our voice to be heard.

But there’s a definite risk to doing so: The tribe has a consciousness of its own and that consciousness doesn’t tolerate non-conformity because it threatens the cohesiveness of the tribe. The tribe doesn’t know what to do with it.

I think this is a fundamental human problem: How do we fit our unique I into the collective We?

Or perhaps I need to say it’s a fundamental problem for me. This is the question that fascinates and drives me personally. I think it’s key to our evolutionary survival. The tribe needs individual gifts to make it’s way through our multi-faceted emerging crisis.

But often the gifts are held back because of what I’m pointing to.

The tribes we belong to, including family, work and spiritual communities, put invisible pressure on us to behave, think and feel in a way the tribe approves of. Members conform to this pressure invisibly and seamlessly out of love and loyalty to the group members. It’s what being a group member is.

Trouble is, this out-of-consciousness conformity to group norms creates a conflict with the depth of the self. Now the “I” must suppress its own knowing so as to not jeopardize its good standing in the group. It gets drawn toward the who-am-I-to-say-this “shame” side of the shame-gift continuum. As I see it, this dynamic is more or less always in operation..

The I and the We are in a dynamic tension. They struggle to make room for each other but they’re not sure they can afford it. This is stressful because the stakes are high. The risk is potential exclusion for the individual, which in the long history of the tribe has often meant death. On the other hand the tribe is threatened by deep change and wants to close it’s ranks against the truly new. Usually neither the tribe nor the individual know that it’s through this dynamic tension that new things come into being.

Oy vey!

How do we work with that?

Basically in a “conscious group,” which I define as one one that names this unconscious problem and makes a light-hearted welcome for the tension that’s there.

I’ll share Part 2, thoughts on the “conscious group” in a few days.

In the meantime I’d love if you share any thoughts or comments on the blog. I love when you write me personally but I’d prefer to see more conversation within the tribe, rather than privately. That said, feel free to write!