UL, UR, LL, LR, sys
The world is an amazing place.
And I continue to be amazed at my own ability to live totally beyond my means and buzzing around it in pursuit of wisdom and connections. This week I am just outside Denver in Colorado at an Integral Sustainability workshop. The kind of place where my brother’s new favourite joke meets sustainability meets Vipassana…and makes total sense. More sense, more resonance, more whole-being beautiful-truth than anything I have done before.
I learnt about Integral Theory late last year, and it instantly clicked. Clicked in that is a way to bring together all the various threads of knowledge in many parts of my life, and in a way that is wildly powerful for use in sustainable development. It brings together wisdom from all aspects of human investigation and experience – from psychology to macro-economics, evolutionary biology, sociology, and every other field – and puts them on the same ‘page’ – within the same framework. Having access to the most accurate ‘map’ and model or reality, consciousness and evolutionary dynamics yet made is pretty handy in any and all endeavours, and especially sustainability.
Exploring the ideas with colleagues in Sweden, through reading, and through new networks was exciting. Even more exciting was the news that there was a specific workshop on Integral Sustainability in Denver (only the second ever run)…and that scholarships were on offer. I applied, and received a half-scholarship to attend. It has still cost me thousands of dollars to get here, but I really felt it was the absolutely most important thing I could be doing with my time, money and energy.
Since arriving it has been an amazing roller-coaster of consciousness-expanding work and play. New connections and friends (and a strong Aussie contingent!), amazing experiential pieces, good food, healthy living (exercise and meditation), and of course lots of wildly nerdy dialogue around sustainability. If you haven’t picked it up yet, this way of approaching sustainability puts the evolution of human consciousness at the heart of the challenge. This contrasts with other apporaches that tend to focus on the behaviour of individuals, or the manifestation of problems in our social, economic, political or ecological systems. This can lead to proposal and implementation of solutions that are superficial at best, ignorant of the culture, context and individuals involved in its implementation…and damaging at worst.
This alternative lens of consciousness (or access to a multiplicity of lenses) allows you to see the whole picture and realy understand the reality of the context then puts your own perceptions and consciousness in the front and centre before even thinking about what the best thing to DO might be. It really is that ‘thinking at a level above that at which we created the problem’ that Einstein and others called for…
And, they are long days. Really intense work from 7am to 9pm. Which means I am off to bed. More bits and pieces and a full report soon!