Occupy awakened the fighting spirit that has been dormant in me since the 60s, reconnected me with my passion to go fearless into whatever is next for the (r)evolutions in the world and my consciousness.
This morning, in gratitude I contemplated this question: what is my gift that life calls me to bring into play, for the sake of the Whole? The following notes are an attempt at modeling that play.
First, I became present to how much I care about the best possible future of Occupy, the future of all children living and who will live on this planet. From that deep feeling arose the next question.
Can it be that the current movements of the multitude will fizzle out as it did in the 60s (although for different reasons)? In the 60s we didn’t have the Web, smartphones, Twitter and the other tools of super-connectivity that we enjoy today. Today, we don’t have (yet) a massive desire for freedom and creativity as much in our inner world as in the outer.
Without that desire being alive in large segments of the Occupy ecosystem, without wanting to be free from the tyranny of ego, as much as from any form of injustice and repression, it may not go deep enough to make a decisive difference for liberation. Systems of governance and even property may change, but for full liberation from the past, with lasting effect, we also need to attend to what is happening inside, (particularly in moments of challenge and stress). Going integral is re-claiming the magnificent wholeness of who we are and can be; it is not a luxury but a condition of victory.
Even so, we cannot and must not preach integral to Occupy. The best we can do is to learn from and with the creative spirit it brings to challenging the status quo, and one more thing: to embody an integral revolution in our consciousness, the way we relate to one another, in our shared mind and the way we organize ourselves for making a difference, together.
It may sound a tall task, but doing anything less than that is missing an epic opportunity to make a decisive move against all forms of tyranny. It’s an opportunity that we can turn into reality only together, as an integral (r)evolutionary commons.
I hope Marco Morelli will share more of his sensing of how a commons in our context may look like. Meanwhile, here are some of my intimations about the sangha aspect of the same community. Primarily, I see it as a community of practice that is pushing the envelop on the domain collective mindfulness and wise action. The better we become at that practice, the more we become those we’ve been waiting for.
Reading my draft of this blog, my partner Anna, at that point inserted this fertile question: “How would the behavior in such group and of the group show up as being different and attractive to others?” I believe the answer is in love, as it manifests in recognizing the full blossoming of each of us and the whole, as a condition to our own well-being, and having a life that shows it. It’s about listening with such a profound curiosity to each other’s gifts and aspirations that we become the listening that calls forth the speaking of them. An example of that kind of listening is inside the encouragement to express my vision more fully, which I received from Eric Troth, the instigator of a series of conference calls about Occupy Integral.
By the way, when I write “community of practice,” I don’t mean it in some abstract or metaphorical sense, but literally, “a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” (Etienne Wenger)
In my experience as a social architect, hosting and cultivating communities for long time, that concept provides a useful perspective on how we can step up to the task of learning what we need to, and doing it as rapidly as possible. A community of practice starts frequently with the negotiation of the meaning of what we need to learn together.
One more thing, about the title of this blogpost. When I hear “Occupy Sangha,” I hear it with two intonations. First, as Occupy Sangha, a phrase starting with a verb calling to inhabit a non-denominational space of integral (r)evolutionaries, the community, where we share the experience of our individual and collective self-realization. Second, as Occupy Sangha, a phrase starting with "occupy" as an adjective, emphasizing our alignment with and supporting the best what the Occupy movement stands for and embodies, and carrying it forward in our practices as a community.
If that perspective speaks to you, what is that you see we, as a community of practice, need to learn first?
What other questions do arise in your consciousness, as you read this blog post?
George Pór is the founding editor of The Future of Occupy.