Had an overdue catch up with my brain twin, Christiana Söderberg yesterday morning, and as so often after our conversations, I came away expanded, grateful and seriously mind blown.
A few months ago I had what felt like a dropping into the obvious with regards to my ‘purpose’; the synergies between my main areas of interest all just happily collected into one word and the simplicity of it filled me with joy: Connection.
I care more than anything about connection – our connection to ourselves, to each other, to our planetary home, and to the greater creative force (whatever you want to label that), and it is from this place that Authentic Brussels recently came into the world.
The things I’ve been dreaming about doing the last year or two – deep (re-)connection work in nature with groups, core connection meditations, intuitive and authentic communication, amongst others – all come under that heading.
So since then I’ve been sitting somewhat smugly in my newfound certainty of what I’m doing on this planet, happily confident that my path will continue to unfurl in the myriad ways that are rising within me.
Almost imperceptibly though, something felt like it was missing.
But like an animal that has finally succeeded in finding a cosy hole to spend the night in and would rather ignore the fact that the spot is next to a lion’s den, I ignored this quiet unsettledness, pushed it back to the furthest reaches of my mind, and concentrated firmly on my connection projects.
And then yesterday, like a vertebrae being slotted back into place, like a corner of my brain being reattached to the rest, like a commonplace reminder that I have arms as well as legs, I remembered this other part of me.
Christiana was recounting some of her experiences during the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation, and we started jamming about perspectives and cultural/spiritual integration and transcendence of individual cultural stories into a paradigm of “No-Story”, and braingasms ensued.
I remembered that everything connected to writing a new story of human culture, shifting the paradigm within which we live (and under which our planet and all who share it with us bear the consequences), is and always has been of a basic, instinctual importance to me.
When I was younger this focus expressed itself through activism and opinionated rantings. Then, for a while, I gave in to resignation, which expressed itself through trying to live as much in alignment with my values as possible without trying to have any wider impact, and frequent bouts of depression.
Because the ways things are right now make me fucking angry. No, more than angry.
It rises up in me like a terrifying unstoppable wave of rage against any and all things, people and structures which hold us in this broken, sick planetary context that we currently find ourselves in. And this wave still feels too big for me to hold, like it will break me as it crashes if I allow it to fully rise up in me.
And yet..there’s so much power in it.
I know that I need to find a way of harnessing that rage and using it for constructive action, but right now I have no idea what that will look like.
A Lonesome Cultural Creative
That’s what they call us.
The rising tide of people who hold a very different vision of global cultural potential from what it is right now, and who are in some way trying to have an impact on creating that world; making the vision a reality. Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson coined the term in their book “The Cultural Creatives” (Harmony Books, 2000), and gave a fairly thorough analysis of this subset of society, but one of the main features is the holistic understanding of the world (which also links to Systems Theory and Integral Theory for the philosophers out there).
Because of their holistic understanding of life, CC’s view the world as being fundamentally interconnected and hence interdependent, which means that individualistic and isolationist systems are necessarily in contradiction with how they understand life to function.
Clearly this leads to feeling very, very misplaced in the current system.
I’ve always felt that way, but since leaving the nest of philosophers and psychologists and hippies that I hung around with at University, I haven’t found a tribe of people with the same views (isolated brain twins regularly appear though thank goodness) – or perhaps it’s also that I’ve become pickier about how I want to discuss these issues.
I feel frustrated in contexts where it feels like everyone’s just talking a lot about lofty ideas of what could be and it doesn’t feel concrete or grounded enough, which often has me backing away from people and contexts in which these kind of conversations happen.
I’m put off by overly green/idealistic/let’s–all-hug&love-each-other groups, and with conversations that regurgitate worn out ideas or have an ‘against’ mentality; So. Old.
And yet, I need to be part of these conversations.
I must be, or it’s like I’m living without using my arms. Without living a huge part of who I am.
I’m going to find more of the people here, in Brussels, who are being really creative with culture, who are experimenting not only in their minds but out in the world, pushing edges, cultural frontiers, dropping social stories and replacing them with questions, invitations for new ways, new systems, new contexts…
It seems incredible that I can occasionally go through periods of several months where I forget this part of myself – and yet, in the frenzy of swiftly speeding weeks filled with full-time employment and friends and travel and projects, it does happen. I think that’s why it’s so important that we surround ourselves to the greatest extent possible, with people who share our worldview, our dreams (some of them at least), our perspectives on life and what it means to be human.
Here’s to a new story.
And someday, to No-Story.