Integral Reflection on Occupy Wall Street Protests

As I sit typing on my iPhone from my seventh floor apartment overlooking the Amstel river, embedded in one of the most sustainable and beautiful cities in the world, with the sun gently caressing my face and a full tummy from my delicious gourmet musleix, the souls of 3,000 people are readying themselves to be released from their bodies today due to malaria ravaging their body, two billion people will scramble to earn their average one to two dollars in earnings today, another long-term unemployed person will just turn over in bed using sleep as an escape from their brutal reality, a trillion dollars in US student debt will remind its owners of its presence, and many millions of people will physically or emotionally suffer from the reactions of a contracted, under-resourced individual in their lives who is struggling just to live a dignified life. How do I respond?

I see the foundations of our economic and political systems crumbling. The faint signals that portend significant shifts are louder and more prolific every day. And I find myself on one level trying to ensure that I am on the “other side” of the rich-poor gap, wealthy enough to live a good life, get my daughter a good education, have a retirement without financial stress, own a decent home, and be debt free.

While I fundamentally experience a unity of being in an absolute sense, I am resolutely aware that in the relative realm there are choices my individual consciousness can make that move me toward greater wealth and quality of life or away from it. Yet what is the integrity of quality of life for me and my family when the quality of life for others is so poor? And I see that black hole of mass poverty and depravation and know that all of my life energy could be consumed by it in a second and monumental work would still remain to be done. I have seen the scale of poverty in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even in the urban areas of developed countries like the US, the UK, and the Netherlands. I have seen the awesomely powerful socio-technical forces, regimes, and technological and institutional and economic lock-in that keep the status quo alive. It is the sheer scale of it that most overwhelms my conceptual mind and individual heart. We will need massive amounts of money and generations of focused and conscious effort to realistically address these challenges. That money must come from an economy dependent on growth, which is requires consumption and large scale energy usage, both of which channel money to the wealthy under our current economic system. Thus the very resources required to make the structural changes needed are dependent upon the existing system to produce which only propagates existing inequality. A wild catch 22. How do I respond?

There is of course deep validity to many of the grievances voiced in the occupy movement. And none of us see the whole picture. If we evenly redistributed wealth and even education and talent today, I believe that given the current state of global consciousness with 70% of folks at Amber or earlier stage of consciousness complexity and the seduction of consumerism and power more enticing than ever, a few decades would likely bring us to another massive rich poor schism. So how do I respond?

I researched how leaders and change agents with postconventional consciousness design and engage in complex change initiatives. While these are still early propositions, the data suggests that Strategists try to catalyze, driving change at strategic leverage points, encouraging the development of all that are involved, pushing and asserting their way through the system, working ON it.

Alchemists seem to take a softer approach, recognizing and honoring the system as a complex adaptive system, with no clear levers for change although keeping an eye out for possible acupuncture points to cultivate development. They tend to more deeply honor the organic developmental process of the system and strive to set up the initial conditions that support the emergence of novelty – a new way of being – for that system. They experiment often and are consistently probing the system, listening carefully to it’s responses from their experiments and looking for the faint signals of potential emergence. They dialogue WITH the system, dancing with it, adapting as it adapts, in an ever rolling design of conscious engagement.

Ironists/Unitive consciousness takes an even subtler approach. They tend to drop into unity consciousness and engage AS the system itself. Sourcing knowledge from beyond the rational and conceptual mind, tuning deeply into the microgeny of the moment, what is the next developmental movement for the evolution of this system, what is its Kosmic address and where might it go next? They are prone to allowing the integrative nature of consciousness to do its thing, holding the space for its conscious potential to express more fully. And then they might drop completely all of those constructs of maps and development itself and abide in the raw arising of the moment, sensing into their next intuitive move. They tend to energetically hold the space for the emergent potential of the moment to be expressed.

Reflecting on the occupy movement. If the center of gravity of it, or at least the core ideas are Green, then an appropriate response might be to let it collapse as quickly as possible under the weight of its pluralism so that a more focused alignment may emerge. Concurrently we could hold the energetic space for that alignment to arise. We could also look to see what initial conditions could be put in place to support that large scale alignment. In order for it to flourish, this movement must involve and attract not only folks with Blue, Orange, and Green values, but also representation across business, government, civil society, academia, media/entertainment, and religion. Each must be allowed to be there for their own reasons, whether it is to secure their company’s reputation, get more votes, raise their own image, or authentically contribute to critical dialogue and action. That is the principal way that i have seen mainstream transformation happen at a large scale. A vision for where to go and who we want to become must arise that resonates across all those levels and systems. Those are some of the key conditions required. That sort of alignment is possible although it will likely take years and be messy.

I have responded for at least this moment. In the next I have another opportunity to choose.

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Barrett Brown About Barrett Brown

Barrett C. Brown. Since 1995, Barrett has worked in nine countries as a consultant and entrepreneur in the areas of leadership, organization development, communications, and sustainability. He has helped launch a dozen organizations, led executive teams through strategic alignment, developed multi-year leadership development programs, delivered leadership initiatives for Fortune 500 executives, and briefed high-level officials at the United Nations Development Programme headquarters and the US State Department. He specializes in the intersection between organization development, leadership development, and global sustainability.

Comments

  1. Mark Jaruzel II says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/occupy-detroit_n_1119413.html

    This is a discussion of some of the tensions faced at Occupy Detroit as well as some of the outcomes. Speaking from the ground, the tensions and conflicts were far more intense than the article says and I dare say some of the impacts may be more profoundly beneficial as well. Meshworks of unlikely allies and even seeming enemies have been in a stew of transformation. Issues have been acknowledged and reworked because the whole process has been functioning as a (semi) safe container to name all the elephants in the room.

    I am posting this as a possible case in point… not to celebrate ‘success’ but to serve to raise expectations for what is possible come next spring when the next wave hits. May we be ready to make skilful use of the tidal forces to come.

  2. Fascinating dialogue in the comments here! I don’t think Barrett’s stance is just postmodern mumbo jumbo, I see it as a highly developed and much needed skill of being able to hold multiple perspectives. Quite remarkable, and an example to us all about how we can interact around such complex problems.

    Having said that, I really do agree with Brian when he says “There are some underlying assumptions in Barrett’s hypothesis that for me, warrant closer examination.”

    Perhaps I have a limited perspective, but my sense is that the integral community, in very general terms, is in need of more robust development in the lower right quadrant. Especially in understanding systems and basic energy literacy. And then in understanding the relationship between energy and economy.

    Barrett writes: “We will need massive amounts of money and generations of focused and conscious effort to realistically address these challenges. That money must come from an economy dependent on growth, which is requires consumption and large scale energy usage, both of which channel money to the wealthy under our current economic system. Thus the very resources required to make the structural changes needed are dependent upon the existing system to produce which only propagates existing inequality.”

    Indeed, a Catch-22 situation. There are very real problems that a declining economy will only exacerbate. And yet, everything that I have learned tells me that infinite growth on a finite planet is not possible. Suffering or not, the growth machine must be turned around at some point. Material growth and consumption is a very natural process in natural systems, up to a point. At some point continued growth becomes a cancer, which is where I think we are now. And if we don’t turn it around, nature will do it for us.

    We can either try to force continued growth, or we can try to plan a managed descent from growth. If we continue to push growth, the likely outcome is that we overshoot (William Catton), and the resultant collapse is much worse than if we had made a controlled and orderly descent.

    Resources for the kind of energy and economic literacy I’m talking about:

    A great place to start is this 6 minute animated YouTube video: “Who Killed Economic Growth?”
    http://youtu.be/EQqDS9wGsxQ

    And “300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds”
    http://youtu.be/cJ-J91SwP8w

    Then dig deeper:

    Arithmetic, Population, and Energy by Albert Bartlett
    http://old.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/461

    Books:
    The Limits to Growth and Limits to Growth 30 Year Update by Donella Meadows, et al
    A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies by Howard and Elizabeth Odum
    Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren
    Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change by David Holmgren (this short book can be read online: http://www.futurescenarios.org)
    Power Down: Options and Actions for a Post Carbon World by Richard Heinberg
    The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

  3. George Por says:

    > I see these movements as large-scale action learning initiatives, teaching the commons how to galvanize hundreds of millions, sustain engagement as long as is really needed (and let it go when it isn’t needed anymore rather than trying to keep dying institutions alive)…

    Barrett, would you mind to comment on what you meant “commons” in that context? To me, and to many in the Commons movement http://www.schoolofcommoning.com/content/commons-movement-sense-making it is a new socio-economic lifeform that transcends the Market State duopoly. I’d like to read an integral reflection on it but have not yet come across any. Have you?

    I did not understand your point about “sustain engagement as long as is really needed.” What if Occupy was not just a protest movement but a new society in the making, where engagement of the multitudes was not time-bound but the very fabric of what is emerging?

  4. Troy Wiley says:

    “Our” best and highest response is a combination of all the approaches you sketched here, and some that we haven’t even thought of yet.

    Best regards,

    Joe”

    Here’s some new ideas that maybe nobody within integral has thought of yet, at least out loud. Integral Zeitgeist: http://vimeo.com/31167032

    I’ve gotten some good response on this video that offers some challenges to the zeitgeist of the integral community itself. Perhaps instead of protesting to get a seat at the table, we need a new table all together.

    Troy

  5. MarcoV says:

    Hi Barrett- I’m curious about this question of the massive amounts of money you think will be needed, and their dependence on the status-quo global growth economy, to get us to a state of greater sustainability and general well-being (after “generations of focused and conscious effort”).

    Given the structural economic issues we’re facing, the exponential growth of debt and inequality (thus civil unrest, e.g., the occupy movement), and the energy challenges we can expect to be facing in the medium (or relatively short) term, what does “money” really mean in this context?

    If our current levels of growth are not sustainable, then, by definition, will they not cease to be at some point? Do you think that’s what we’re beginning to witness, and if so, then what will our current money (or “currency”) be worth, given that it fundamentally assumes continued (exponential) growth?

    Setting aside the possibility of technological miracles (which, of course, will almost certainly happen – the only question is whether soon enough to continue fueling the kind of growth that petroleum has for the past century), are we not facing the necessity of a massive restructuring of the global economy before we can really afford it? Won’t this take some serious breakdowns (i.e., including many people losing tons of money!) to clear the space for structures that are not as fundamentally growth-dependent?

    I guess I’m curious how you resolve the statement that you “see the foundations of our economic and political systems crumbling” with your “catch 22″ a couple paragraphs below, which seems to imply the opposite – i.e., that we need to continue pursuing (and achieving) massive growth in order to fuel the needed restructuring?

    Will it be perhaps our INability to continue growing at current levels (or in the current ways) that will prepare the ground for the emergence of a more sustainable system?

    Best,
    Marco

  6. Barrett Brown Barrett Brown says:

    HI Brian,
    Thanks for your inquiry and invitation. I appreciate it, although am curious about the charge that seems to arise with it in your words.
    I read your Integral Economist blog front page, your Integral Review paper Toward a Sustainable Future, and your paper on A Case of Willful Neglect. I also watched the trailer you recommended. I feel like you are tuned into some great experimental work that is happening at the edges of our economy, especially Bernard Lietier’s work and that of complementary currencies. I hope you continue to push those edges and support experiments that can become positive deviances across our current systems.
    I also feel that I hold a different perspective, having just spend the last few years working closely with multinationals, governments, intergovernmental bodies, and international NGOs to build large-scale sustainability initiatives that transform global supply chains in agro-commodities. I think I’ve been deep “in the system” these years, likely like you were in your two decade financial career. I’ve come out of it still a fervent believer in the need for experimentation at the edges of our economy and recognizing the house of cards that much of our intertwined global-social-economic system is (while recognizing an underlying unity as well). Yet I also am humbled by the recognition of how locked-in we are into the status quo, and how much co-dependency there is – much of it unhealthy – across sectors, from business to government to civil society – and how many of the major decisions being made – from the UN to CEOs of multinationals to even NGO executive directors – seem to arise from a less than worldcentric perspective. That’s OK on one level of course, folks have a right to be where they are, and it is not OK on another as it is causing massive distortions in our system that are mostly penalizing generations to come as well as folks like yourself and hundreds of millions of others in the same or a worse boat. What I see is that if we are to truly raise global social standards (to a level of about an average Mexican – beyond that the research suggests that there is no increase in happiness) we need massive investments. If we are to reverse the destruction of every major ecosystem that has gone into collapse – from the mangrove forests to the fisheries to the coral reefs and vast farmlands – we will need massive investments. If we are going to create a dynamic economy that can provide jobs to the many who are educated and the many who need education but all of whom don’t have work now – we need massive investments.

    While there is truly the potential for generating many jobs through sustainable development, and there is truly the potential for generating the energy we need to fuel that (see Amory Lovins’ and RMI’s recent launch of “Reinventing Fire”), and there truly is the potential for a flourishing of complementary currencies and new economic models that support socio-ecological development…all of the current system players and the massive structures in place built up through hundreds of years of legislative action by less than worldcentric folks ARE NOT GOING AWAY. We might want them to, we might idealize a more healthy economy, and we are straggling toward that, but all those power players in the current system need to come along for the ride in a way that authentically motivates them.

    And I don’t know how we are going to do that. I resolutely believe in the power of the human spirit and consciousness to be creative and resilient, especially in the face of challenging circumstances. So things will change, there are many positive new signs, I see them in relatively enlightened policy here in the Nordic countries, I see them in the actions of privately owned multinationals (and some publicly traded ones) where I’ve had an insider look, and I see them in the innovative, market-based approaches of some of the best international NGOs. Ultimately I am hopeful and committed. I’m also wary and really tuned into the existing power structures we have collectively created and curious about how to support the unlocking of their current states such that they can shift into a more resourceful state for an ever-increasing sphere of humanity.
    Warmly,
    Barrett

  7. I hope you’ll forgive me for saying so Barrett, but I see little reflecting an integral perspective here. I’m still under the impression you believe:

    “We will need massive amounts of money and generations of focused and conscious effort to realistically address these challenges. That money must come from an economy dependent on growth, which is requires consumption and large scale energy usage, both of which channel money to the wealthy under our current economic system. Thus the very resources required to make the structural changes needed are dependent upon the existing system to produce which only propagates existing inequality. A wild catch 22. How do I respond?”

    I’m sorry, but for someone with your background, this is just a dung pile of postmodern mumbo jumbo. In respect to the necessity of mindless growth, mass consumerism and ultra efficient ‘economies of scale’, please watch this trailer of “The Economics of Happiness” and then please revisit ‘the integral economist’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkdnFYDbiBE

  8. Barrett, thank you. Those are great clarifications. That “4S for sustainability” in your teaching work sounds great, as do your other comments.

  9. Barrett Brown Barrett Brown says:

    HI Brian, great points. Just for the record, I’m not throwing in the towel, just calling it like I see it while remaining, as always, relentlessly optimistic about the change that is afoot. The Stockdale Paradox is really crucial in times like this… Warmly, Barrett

  10. There are some underlying assumptions in Barrett’s hypothesis that for me, warrant closer examination. In saying:

    “We will need massive amounts of money and generations of focused and conscious effort to realistically address these challenges. That money must come from an economy dependent on growth, which is requires consumption and large scale energy usage, both of which channel money to the wealthy under our current economic system. Thus the very resources required to make the structural changes needed are dependent upon the existing system to produce which only propagates existing inequality. A wild catch 22. How do I respond?”

    Barrett appears to have ‘thrown in the towel’ (along with ‘the ranch’) to the Money Power’s dominant strangle hold on global society. While this viewpoint is consistent with academic findings supporting ‘globalization’ (see: http://www.ted.com/talks/geoffrey_west_the_surprising_math_of_cities_and_corporations.html) others are assuming different perspectives constituting alternative narratives altogether (see: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html).

  11. Barrett Brown Barrett Brown says:

    You folks have raised some brilliant points and offered me some excellent and deep challenge. One of the things I’m coming to really understand is that an integral approach and understanding truly emerges out of deep dialogue amongst those that are willing to go there. My best response in the moment is partial the second it drops into the noosphere; however dropping seeds like this somehow seems to excite growth all around, and new, complementary and constructively critical roots and shoots arise. Stepping back from the garden, we can begin to see the emergence of a novel, integral understanding, built upon the contributions of all.
    Regarding the comments below…

    I agree with Mushin that this is far beyond developmental levels…that is but one slice of this, but the one I chose to inquire into.

    David provided some great insights for this discussion. As a clarification to his reasoning, I’d technically separate the vertical development of stage-structures from the horizontal development of skill-building (as in learning how to shift a political system). In my courses I teach about 4S for sustainability: that we need stage development, skill development, state capacity/development, and a social group/sangha that supports it all. Without any of those we can lose our effectiveness; building all offers a greater chance to respond effectively in the moment. The best teachers for us at this stage are probably not those with just deep consciousness, but those who know how, practically, to galvanize millions into a long-term engagement, rather than a state experience of a few months of protesting. Who are those people that we can learn from and what are they recommending?

    I love Mark’s points about nudging and presencing a transmission that becomes a strange attractor…

    I really agree with Joe Perez that this isn’t going to necessarily collapse, it could spring into something we can’t imagine now, just like the Arab Spring we witnessed this year. AND, the anti-war movement in 2001-2 was massive and unfortunately moved the lever not much in the broader scope of things, although some anti-war protestors are claiming victory now that the economy in the US is struggling and more people have gone against the massive military spending by the US government. I see these movements as large-scale action learning initiatives, teaching the commons how to galvanize hundreds of millions, sustain engagement as long as is really needed (and let it go when it isn’t needed anymore rather than trying to keep dying institutions alive), cultivate cross-sectoral alignment, learn the arguments for and against the types of interventions suggested so as to sharpen our critical thinking, and just become better collaborators across all differing dynamics. We WILL NEED this large-scale organizing capacity in the system as things get rougher ecologically and socially and economically.

    Regarding Amanda G’s comment about what would attract me? I’d need to see a more nuanced and balanced understanding coming out of the movement around what to do. More construction, less deconstruction, more honoring of the full picture – both interior and exterior. Yes, let’s put those who consciously exploit the system for their own personal greed at the detriment of those less fortunate – let’s put those folks in jail and set up some checks and balances in the system that keep them from arising. But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. This isn’t about rolling back in time to when corporations weren’t legal entities with a voice or when highly-complex derivatives didn’t exist. This is about leaning forward into the moment and flowing with what we’ve created and learning to channel its power in service of all of humanity. We are a young species, we are learning fast, we have awesome capacity that is increasingly unlocked each day. Ride that wave of emergence as consciously as we can…do we really have any other choice?

  12. Mushin says:

    An interesting take on OWS. I’ve engaged somewhat here in Berlin and was positively thrilled at what I saw emerging among the people as they were trying to come to grips with the situation they put themselves in by ‘copying’ the mic check procedure in the Assembly. Having been around on this planet for a while now I’ve seen non-leader discussions in political context before, but non as ‘mature’ even in its beginning as I’ve seen here.
    If OWS lives on it will be a societal transformer as the hippie movement; and I do have this hope, I must confess. And maybe it will also correct the strange over-emphasis on personal developmental levels that still speaks from your piece, Barrett, for much more than anything else I’ve seen before in this arena the shared reality is developed dialogically, between people. This way it may finally create enough incentive for highly developed individuals to look into what the Lower Left Quadrant may actually be and how it may be the cauldron of real transformation.

  13. David Marshall says:

    Thank you, Barrett. I enjoyed reading that and like the looks of this website. I was linked to this blog from a Facebook conversation, so I will just paste here what I wrote there.

    *

    Thank you for posting this, Bonnitta. I have always enjoyed Barrett’s work and thought he was one of the integral folks poking into the ~Indigo range, or the higher ones in SCG’s model.

    There are many things to like in here, and I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t entirely agree with his analysis of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    For one thing, I wouldn’t say the COG of the movement is Green. The COG is probably lower than that, I would imagine. There will be anti-corporate types at each level. For example, at Orange there will be the Wall Street Republicans (the Haves) and the Lunch Pail Democrats (the Have Nots).

    Probably most of them are anti-corporate types (or simply Have Nots) at something lower than a Green altitude (as Green is only about 25% of the general population and like the anti-Vietnam War movement probably had a Green minority). But certainly there is a lot of Green in it, particularly with some of the emerging leaders, people that media most want to soundbite, etc.

    But the other thing to consider is that working on the political/economic system and our understanding of it would likely be a developmental line unto itself. You could probably test in the postmodern range cognitively or even higher in SCG action logics and still know very little about the system and even less about how to transform it. So I don’t think we can simply transfer the action logics of SCG to what we’re seeing in the movement just like that.

    Also, the movement certainly wasn’t started by the kind of leaders Barrett has researched; I certainly agree with him there; it had a much more organic, grass-roots sort of beginning. But that doesn’t mean we should let it drop. It’s a precious and rare opportunity to have people activated like this. We just need to add the planning and direction second; the leaders need to move in now to harness that energy and direct it, and some are already beginning to do that. We also, of course, need to weed out any anti-evolutionary aspects of it, like anti-business sentiments, hardcore communists, anarchists, and the like.

    I think the movement is also about basically two kinds of change, one interior, the other exterior. Part of what they are trying to effect is systemic change, and of course that is very important, but they are also trying to effect cultural and individual change–the tendency for people in the culture to be greedy and lionize people who have been successful at it. Of course, they are going about both in a fairly blunt, undefined, and unfocused manner, but I think it’s just one of those movements that was initiated by the “people” rather than leaders.

    The leaders need to step in now, and hopefully they will be integral enough not to lead it in such a way that harms business, the system, the culture, or individuals. At the very same time, I think we need to reduce regulation of business in some areas (re: Steve Jobs’ words to Obama) and root out the corruption of government, which is mainly corporate. We need to simultaneously revitalize the economy (conservative perspectives) and make it more fair (liberal perspectives).

    One interesting effort to lead and focus the movement is Cenk Uygur’s initiative to pressure the states into calling for a constitutional convention to put an end to corporate personhood, which would take a constitutional amendment and which is probably the only way that corruption can be rooted out in the near future. It may not happen in their first try, but hopefully it will put the issue on the map. He also puts out a call for leaders and other volunteers at wolf-pac.com.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykLB0d4KNAc

  14. Mark Jaruzel II says:

    Well as much as I would LOVE an integral movement to spring up, the next transition is to ‘Green.’ While the 60′s saw the birth of ‘Green’ and a critique of ‘Orange’ in the US, the political economy is still ‘Orange’ through and through. Instead of letting the pluralism collapse I have (elsewhere) suggested that we find the leverage points for healthier expression, nudge the system toward deep wisdom, and presence a transmission / way-of-being that acts as a strange attractor for all.

    The creative tensions in this process have lead a number of Occupy groups (including the main #OWS and at least 2 here in Michigan) to consciously recognize and state that sometimes marginalizing a few is more desirable than letting 1 person block the will of hundreds or thousands. A ‘Block’ can now be overruled by a 90% majority in a binary vote! The OWS folks were able to come to this on their own (though I and a few others offered suggestions and vigorous support around the idea when it appeared that they were ready to hear it and move on it). This was not a move ‘back’ to ‘Orange’ but an honoring of the importance and limits of ‘Green.’ Also, although a ‘leaderless’ movement, the flat structure has given space for natural leaders to emerge. It challenges some to autonomously say to themselves ‘no one else is stepping up so I guess it falls to me to take responsibility for getting all these different personalities and agendas coherent enough for the task of the moment.’ In the process, they are learning to hold many perspectives and skillfully choose how much weight to give to each depending on the challenges in front of them.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is almost entirely ‘Green’ and there are large chunks of ‘Red’ (and lower), but there are some who are getting the slightest push into ‘Teal.’ This move doesn’t come from a collapse of pluralism, but from fully getting one’s fill of it and seeing the beautiful gifts it brings and also how it is not fully adequate to the new challenges of Being that emerge.

    Just like we can’t (so far as I can tell) just simply switch to aperspectival until we get our fill of the mental, dialectical, and perspectival, so in this post now I have been talking in the language of the dialectic of development from ‘Orange,’ to ‘Green,’ to ‘Teal’ even though I see it quite differently now. I say show up as simple presence and presence the simple. Eventually even the transcend and include pattern gets transcended, though in a very different and simple way.

    I walked in a park amidst the heavy rain and struggled to tie a tarp. A homeless man will be warmer for it. I will be warmer for it. You will be warmer for it.

    Come play with us in the park, rain or shine light or dark. Now I must put my smart phone in my pocket and go help with a camp rearrange and winterization.

  15. Lincoln Merchant says:

    This makes me think of the slave-owning Founding Fathers who knew slavery went against their every principle, yet they and many of their supports depended economically on it. I’ve also been reflecting on how future generations might judge the relative economic prosperity and decadent ease I enjoy in the face of such global misery. Will my participation in the dominant political economy look as morally weak and hypocritical, given my stated beliefs, as the slave owning American Revolutionaries? Am I really doing everything I can do given my opportunities? My global conscience has been more strongly urgent lately, but I feel trapped by bad personal habits and powerful economic ruts that make it easiest to live in a way that feeds into some of these global problems. Excuses!

    Thanks for the essay, Barrett!

  16. Joe Perez says:

    Barrett,

    Thank you. Most everything sounds about right from where I’m observing, tempered with Amanda G.’s noticing of the dynamism of the movement. There’s never been a movement quite like this before, and it would be a mistake to assume that it MUST collapse under the weight of its Individualist center of gravity, rather than simply being likely to.

    What I call the “Integral movement” is actually a loose association of individuals at Individualist, Strategist, Alchemist, Unitive, and other stations of development and their allies. “Our” best and highest response is a combination of all the approaches you sketched here, and some that we haven’t even thought of yet.

    Best regards,

    Joe

  17. Amanda G says:

    Thank you for speaking to the feeling of overwhelm when faced with the size and complexity of current human structures. Are you aware that Occupy recently changed its general assembly rules so that a single person can not block a super majority? This is within a mere month of its inception. To me, this speaks to the potential acceleration of growth this community represents- both the well publicized breadth and the unrecognized depth.
    You mention that this group must attract throughout amber to green values but also across domains. I agree. But what about Teal through Ultraviolet? What would it take to attract you, Barrett, and you, the reader of this comment who self-identifies with higher action logics? What, in this situation, keeps “them” from being “us?”

  18. Marc Daniels says:

    We are at a crossroads…whether to remain captives within the weedpatch or to take action to rise above it. Corporate greed, just like individual greed is rooted in hatred. This is a strong emotion which detaches people. All the energy looking for a place to vent.

    We can choose either to promote social fission or rise above this and facilitate cultural fusion. The solution could be as simple as extracting a single weed, as a symbol for our desire to root out this hatred. Freed form all of this negativity, we become free to sow the seeds of respect within each other, recognizing that we are all inter-related.

  19. Brett Thomas Brett Thomas says:

    This is beautiful Barrett. Thank you.

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