This kind of life strategy or behavior is the natural outcome of the Living Universe metaphysics. When we perceive our reality as a living one, we cease to enforce control upon it. Our goal becomes not to enforce control but to participate through sense-and-respond.
In an organism, all cells work together in coherent ways to maintain conditions conducive to their well-being. Therefore, between cells there is a high level of coherence and correlation. The same is for a super-organism, be it a ant-hill, a bee-hive or a forest. Why not to be so for a society? How can we correlate each other if not through sense-and-respond behavior?
Systems Thinking helps us perceive the interconnection between all the processes that brings forth our planet, Gaia.
What we usually perceive as “things”, as static realities – a tree, a human, a forest, a planetary ecosystem – are actually processes, that try to interconnect with other processes to create larger processes. The structure of our Universe is holarchic: systems/processes nested in bigger systems, nested in even bigger systems and so on.
Our planet – Gaia – is one living process for which every one of us is a part. In this day we will enjoy games and exercises that will help us perceive the deep interconnection and synergy of the processes that bring forth our world.
Science calls all these open processes, that interact with other open-processes, holons. Every system is a “holon” – it is both a whole in its own right, comprised of subsystems and, simultaneously, an integral part of a larger system. Thus holons forms “holarchies”: systems nested within systems, nested within systems etc.
A holon tries to maintain its integrity. Doing so, it fulfills its function in the bigger holon of which it is part of. A holon has double attention: to maintain its integrity and well-being and to maintain the integrity and well-being of its bigger holon.
Holarchic Thinking means to “think like a holon”.
This day we will engage games and exercises that highlight the holarchic structure of our relations, helping us understand how our well-being is inextricably connected with others well-being and how holarchic thinking could help us to bring forth in our daily life healthy human relations.
Biological Thinking means to think as a living being, part of the Great Circle of Life. Biological Thinking could help us design our technologies, communities or institutions as Nature does.
Martin Reeves, researching how living systems work, found 6 features: Redundancy, Diversity, Modularity, Adaptation, Prudence, Embeddedness. For this day, we have prepared games and exercises that will tackle, step by step, all of these 6 features of Life. Their understanding would help us become more resilient in a VUCA world and bring forth resilient communities.
Lateral thinking helps us get out of the clichés of perception and thinking in which we have lived so far and begin to discover how wide the world is, how many possibilities there are, how many alternatives!
In order to cope with the growing amount of information, as we grow older, the human brain tends to simplify things and organize information into categories, putting them in different “boxes” – our clichés / patterns of perception, thinking, decision, action, etc. Step by step, this simplified organization settles down and we literally become prisoners of these patterns. To the extent that we are unaware of them, we cannot escape them.
The concept of Lateral Thinking, on the one hand, helps us become aware of these patterns and, on the other hand, to escape from their grip. In time, the conscious practice of lateral thinking helps us acquire a lateral attitude, which in real life involves a relaxation and detachment specific of playing, an openness to the new/ unknown/ unsuspecting, and an almost instinctive rejection of rigidity or absolutist arrogance.
Lateral thinking does not promise anything, but could generate more perspective.
It helps you break up with your unconscious patterns of thinking, perception and decision.
Often we can not find viable solutions because from our old point of view there are no viable solutions. Lateral thinking helps us “break the spell”, escape from our “box” and see things from different perspectives.
There are 8 techniques of lateral thinking and in this day we will tackle – unfortunately only superficial – all of them through games and exercises.
All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, communication skills and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others. Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence, the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. “NVC reminds us of what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being.” (Marshall B. Rosenberg)
Nonviolent communication could generate the awareness that all human beings are trying to honor universal values and needs and enhance the human natural tendency to empathize.
With Nonviolent Communication we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. NVC can be seen as a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone’s needs and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities. Through the NVC practice, we learn to clarify what we are feeling, what we are observing, what values we want to live by and what we want to ask of ourselves and others. We will no longer need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination.
NVC could be used not only to speak with angry or frustrated people, but kindly and empathically to engage all your relations. If people use nonviolent communication, they will naturally open to each other, because there is no need to attack or defend themselves. Through this open door, it will be much easier for everyone to feel the others and respond accordingly, in an empathic way.
We already discussed about Stigmergic Correlation in previous seminars and courses. Anyway, always an opportunity to exercise it and deepen its art is very useful. The games we will play today are fun and the discussion triggered by them will be, for sure, insightful.
Life as a Dance
In this day we will dance. Dance is the best example of sense-and-respond correlation.
We will celebrate the Joy of Life and the numinous quality of each living being.
Sense-and-respond is the natural way of living when you address the others as “thou”, when you perceive them as numinous realities, part of the Great Dance of Life.
What will we learn?
In this course we will have the chance to deepen the “art of living”. Predict-and-control is for mechanisms; sense-and-respond is for living beings.
Be a Collaborator!
Anyone can become our collaborator!
We are searching for artists, trainers, film-makers, web-designers and for everyone that is inspired by the same vision as us.
Whatever the challenges of the future, cooperators will have a clear evolutionary advantage compared to non-cooperators.
In the new VUCA world, we will have to survive and thrive in new ways, different from those that have been successful so far. As a multicellular organism is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than a cell alone, as an ant-hill is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than an ant alone, the cooperative groups will be smarter and better equipped to deal with future challenges than single individuals.
Educators, trainers or artists – those who aim to have a social impact, to spread an idea – have to cooperate, if they want to succeed. However, the evolution of Life has a clear direction: towards ever-increasing scales of cooperation.
Those who want to move forward must learn to cooperate in mutually enhancing ways.
The open project “Butterfly Communities” is an emerging community that is searching for young artists, trainers, filmmakers, etc. that have understood that we have to help each other to have a stronger social impact.