Pioneering Humanity – A Conference in India

During my trip to Auroville, India, December 2014, I gave a conference about collective intelligence and my research work in exploring new ways to exist and evolve consciousness. This conference has different parts, from external objective science to empirical exploration I do at the personal level.

Keywords: #aurobindo, #auroville, #CollectiveIntelligence, #breathing, #conscisouness, #economy, #e-prime, #GiftEconomy, #food, #holomidal, #innovation, #internet, #InvisibleArchitectures, #ontology, #OpenSource, #PyramidalCollectiveIntelligence, #SocialCodes, #soul, #spirituality, #technology, #wealth, #wisdom

Collective Intelligence – a New Research Field

In this first part you will hear the great story about collective intelligence. How did it evolve through the ages, where does it go today? This part focuses on the external objective aspects of my scientific research: facts, data, words.

 

Evolving the We in the I

The second part of the conference offers a more complex –and deeper– understanding of collective intelligence by addressing how the collective operates in the self, how the “we” plays in the “I”. Hence the fact that we see many collectives that evolve lot’s of external aspects such as technology or governance, but people still carry, like holograms, the social dna of the old society: same social codes, same wealth technology (money), same language, same food, same relationship with the body, same beliefs (doxa), same relationship to time, etc. My research has lead me to explore and deconstruct this social dna and explore new possibilities. I share some examples in the videos below.

Language

Language carries lot’s of archaic forms of consciousness in the way it builds reality in our individual and collective psyche. Unveiling these archaic forms and deciding whether we get rid of them of evolves them helps make important evolutionary steps, individually and collectively. Here I share the example of speaking in e-prime (not using the verb “to be”).

 

Social Codes

No social code exist randomly. No matter how unconsciously we perpetuate social codes, they all have a function: perpetuate and maintain a given social order. Evolution means we also question the function of each social code, and decide what we want to keep, get rid of, or evolve. In this part of the conference I share how I changed a few social codes, like breathing before speaking, and the consequences it had on me and around me.

 

Economy

Pyramidal collective intelligence has made market economy its core economic engine. Why? Because gift economy didn’t have the capacity to reach large scales due to the exponential complexity it generates. However now holomidal collective intelligence allows the rise of gift economies at large scale, offering amazing competitive advantages compared to market economy. But it takes a quantum leap to understand and trust the process, a question that I share in this part of the conference.

 

Food, Technology, Body

Food carries lot’s of social beliefs and binding in it. Food and consciousness walk hand in hand. If one asks this double question: “what does good for me and for the world at the same time?”, then no conventional cuisine today offers a satisfying answer. Evolving the self means evolving the way we eat.

Technology also shapes individual and collective consciousness. We have a different world and reality before and after the invention of fire, of the writing, of the printing press, of flight, of computers, of internet. What consciousness do we cultivate in order to have technology serve us rather than the opposite?

Last but not least, the body plays a key role in invisible architectures. Culture determines in a large manner the relationship we have with or body, how we experience it, how we manifest it. Conventional lifestyle in the pyramidal collective intelligence world places the body in a social and cultural mold. How can we free ourselves and get to live fully our bodily experience? Why should we do that? What consequences?

 

Conclusion

If we had 3 core ideas to keep in mind, I would pick these ones:

  1. become holoptical
  2. transmute old social dna
  3. reclaim your body

 

Questions & Answers

People in the public asked a series of fascinating questions, as shared on the time line below.

0:00 – What about languages that don’t use the verb “to be”?

2:10 – In the gift economy, don’t people usually give back to you rather than giving back to someone else?

5:15 – Can we consider an intermediary stage between market economy and gift economy that we could call social entrepreneurship?

9:30 – Question from a sports coach: “I follow my heart by teaching what I love and do the best, however it keeps me binded to  a city, a place where I don’t want to live. If I follow and listen to my heart, how should I deal with this?”

15:10 – How does friendship play in linking the I and the We? What role of social environment in this transformation?

20:00 – Do you know good examples of holomidal collective intelligence?

24:40 – Auroville began with very innovative ideas about education. Unexperienced people applied them, and later more and more of the pyramidal world came in, with money, taxes, etc. So, what do you think about education?

29:10 – 2 questions:
1. What sense do you have about our organization in Auroville ? Does it contribute to holomidal collective intelligence?
2. When you work with companies, what agreements do you propose for groups to change in a soft way?

35:20 – You have yourself evolved towards live (raw) food, but before enough people make such a conscious step, they will end up depleting our current natural resources. What do you think about that?

37:15 – You’ve spoken about collective intelligence and shared about things you do at the personal level. How do you do the two things combined together, the personal and the collective?

 


A big thank you to Bruno and Damien for capturing this conference, and to Joel for the sound engineering.

 


Foreplay to love

I want to begin this series of articles with preliminaries (or foreplay I may say) about love. Love, such a big and small word!

What follows comes from direct experience acquired along the years. Most societies leave young men and women completely uneducated about love. As a young man I had no clue about what love and sex really meant beyond the physical arousal and the technical play we could have with it. People can grow their consciousness through love and sex if they want to, however most of seem to remain where education brought them, i.e. ground zero, leaving them unhappy, illiterate and frustrated about this most important thing about our human experience: love.

Love as an art

Tango in Buenos AiresFirst postulate: see love as an art. I became aware of this in my 30’s after reading Erich Fromm‘s, beautiful book “The Art of Loving” (you can read a little bit of it here).

If we consider love as an art, Fromm writes, then you will find in it both a theoretical and a practical aspect, just as you will in painting, music or dance. In dance we build body balance and flexibility, and we cultivate an extraordinary physical empathy with our partners. We develop an infinite set of gestures and steps. In music we have to stretch our fingers, play our scales, learn dozen of chords, train our ear, connect the gesture with the emotion. We must learn and integrate moves, techniques, compositions. In love we learn how to develop the “sense of the individuality of the other”, as Steiner writes, in other words how we can open our empathic doors to the extreme. One needs a lot of personal development in order not to fall in the alienating and conflicting abysses of fusion. In the sexual expression of love, we have these gestures, these breathings that open us to the knowledge of our body, our energies, our mutual ecstancy. Regardless the form of art, only patient learning leads to creative freedom.

Art of the BricksLove as an art produces an even more essential aspect than the technical side described by Fromm: by essence art predicates limitless freedom and creativity. Most people experience love in a conventional way. We copy/paste the standard social models of love the same way we repeat the doctrines of religion. But art becomes putrified in the catacombs of conventionalism.  Love as an art must endlessly open new paths. It relentlessly breaks the walls of morals, religion, social order, cultural diktat. Don’t we feel amazed and don’t we laugh when we see these texts, words, paintings or movies that shocked past generations? Today they look so old-fashion and so mainstream! However, what remains in us that continues to block us, to alienate us and to make us deny the others? What shadows keep us trapped in the denial of our essence, in the refusal of our freedom, in the fear of our divinity? Art, regardless of its form, has always pushed away boundaries and established new horizons. Love as an art implies we reinvent ourselves all the time and hunt our limitations.

Love has nothing of a feeling

Thanks to experience, life has offered me a second postulate: we cannot reduce love to a feeling or an emotion. Love comes from a state of consciousness that brings us into a “state of love”. We don’t fall in love, we rise in it. When we love, reality changes. Landscapes look enchanted, the air smells good, the weather feels nice even when it rains, life turns into a dream. We feel in joy and taken by a desire of kindness with the world. The graynesses of life vanishes. Indeed loving provokes feelings and emotions that spring out as consequences of our inner state.

Anton Semenov - Thumbs Society
Anton Semenov – Thumbs Society

Let’s not confuse causes and the consequences. Our emotions, thoughts and feelings constitute the ingredients produced by the inner source of consciousness. If anger, jealousy or fear come out of your “love”… do you really love? When the gauges turn red, they indicate you have left the state of love. Maybe you want to possess the other, maybe the other possesses you, maybe you suffer a pathological need for recognition, or a fear of solitude… Don’t delude yourself: in the name of love as socially defined, you transformed yourself into a tyrant towards yourself  and towards the other(s). You don’t love, or you don’t love anymore.

I like to see authentic love as a shining sun. A sun doesn’t direct its beams towards such or such other celestial body. It simply shines. Sometimes its light illuminates other planets which in turn shine and irradiate around them. We can’t calculate love, it doesn’t direct itself towards specific things or people. Love comes from an inner state that can only feed itself from itself, in the being by the being. Love exists at the condition that it has no condition. Then it becomes love with the other, and not love of the other. In the state of love we become two luminous meeting stars shining at one another.

The language of love

Language plays a central role in the way we build our inner experiences. Language builds our reality.

Cupidon in the CitySo let’s explore these ontological questions. The ordinary language of love says “I love you”, or “I love Lea”, or “Julia loves Mike”. It addresses love like a vector with a direction pointing towards a target. Doesn’t Cupid shoot an arrow? If I love a person with directed love, it means I don’t love –or have less love for– the others. In radiant, non directed, evolved love, we love, full stop. Shouldn’t we make the verb “to love” intransitive?

Because of these limitations, ordinary language doesn’t support speaking of the universal state of love. It indulges us in romantic love, the binary, possessive form of love, that submits one person to another, that builds itself on the dialectics of dependency. Poor and powerless victims of life, we “fall” in love. Then  we “marry” and we make these unsustainable and unbearable  promises: “I commit not to change, to remain the same in order to hold on to the relational form that we impose on one another today. I love you, I marry you. No one else will appear in my life.” You know the next part of the story. Romantic love denies our capacity to love in a plural way, without calculating or dividing ourselves.

To make the landscape a little darker, the language of love comes with a complete set of statuses that sow the seeds of separation. Separation from the other, separation from oneself. Words like exclusivity, fidelity, going out with, splitting, dumping, in a couple, not in a couple… Let’s add to this some poor categories: boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, lover, concubine, partner, husband or wife, homo or hetero, gay or lesbian, monogamous or polygamous, exclusive or polyamourous… When I speak about my way to love, I see how people always try to put me in one of these boxes that describe a world of objects and categories. It rejects from our social field the full palette, the vast continuum of relational experiences that life can offer.

In short, due to its lack of subtlety and nuances, our language of love doesn’t shine very much. It doesn’t have much to do with the radiant suns I mentioned earlier. If we want to evolve, shouldn’t we reinvent the language of love? It believe this will elevate us, and so I work on it. Try it for yourself too! Invent words and expressions that speak to your deep, ultimate, reality. Give a new fresh meaning to old words. Free yourself from dusty taxonomies that create alienated love.

Towards the inner androgyny

Yin Yang Sun & MoonThe only realized couples I know come from people happy with themselves. People who have accomplished their inner marriage, the only one that works. A true love encounter doesn’t come to fill an inner deficiency. We meet to celebrate. You see me and welcome me through the splendor of my being, in my flaws and my weaknesses as well as in my strengths. I see you and welcome you in the splendor of your being, in your flaws and your weaknesses as well as in your strengths. I see you who sees me who sees you who sees me, and so on. The delightful game of infinite mirrors begins, well aligned in front of one another. A kaleidoscopic explosion happens, impredictible. Art springs out. The state of love sparkles inside myself, shining towards you.

Indeed inner happiness requires a personal journey, long for some, shorter for others. The state of love arises from inner androgyny, once we have given permission to both our masculine and feminine polarities to thrive fully inside ourselves. Our masculine and feminine have learned how to dance, how to complete, and how to love one another unconditionally. The exterior couple emerges from the inner couple.

I won’t go any further for now, as others have widely explored these horizons. I think of this French writer Paule Salomon, sadly not translated in English.

And now?

Now that I shared some preliminaries, I can start talking more directly about my experience. I will continue with the 4 lights that illuminate and guide my loving life.

I will keep using the verb to love, not in the romantic sense, but through the energy of the inner marriage that I just described, when the androgynous being unites and celebrates life with another being, nourished by the source of his/her inner radiance.

 

 

 


Bruno Marion Brings Chaos in our Lives

The title of this article suggests we should hate this guy. But you know what? I love him as one of these rare friends one has in a lifetime. And I do love that he brings chaos into our lives.

Indeed, Bruno has become one to the greatest experts on this new science, the chaos theory, as we name it.

 

At crossroads

The chaos theory –the latest conceptual tool we have to map reality around us– emerged after researchers made similar observations in their respective disciplines. Researchers observed chaos at play in their own field without knowing that these same phenomena happened in other disciplines such as biology, medicine, meteorology, physics, economics or sociology. It took quite a transdisciplinary understanding to see communalities between a heart beat, the forming of a thunderstorm, the erratic behavior in the stock exchange, the vortexes in a fluid under specific states, the amazing shapes in nature or the unpredictability of a pendulum. Then the mathematician Benoît Mendelbrot discovered (and invented) the fractals, i.e. the mathematics that describe complexity, life, chaos, like never before. Euclidian geometry describes elements that exist in our minds, but not in nature. Where in nature will you find a straight line, a perfect sphere or circle, a square square, a right-angled rectangle or a perfectly flat plane? Nature generates infinitely complex and often chaotic forms such as trees, landscapes, weather, movements, vortexes, behaviors, that don’t have much to do with those perfect idealized forms that we learn at school. Better than a long discourse, just enjoy this wonderful short video below.

For the past 30 years, this science has made tremendous progress in almost every field we can imagine, from building realistic 3D imaginary worlds in the movie or computer games industry to understanding climate change or social complexity. You will find lot’s of good literature and online content that popularizes chaos and complexity theories.

Bringing chaos into our lives

Bruno MarionBruno Marion literally brings chaos into our lives in a practical and concrete way, for the benefit of all. In his conferences and his next book (coming in a few days!), he shares how our current world views still use old maps that don’t reflect the reality anymore. These old maps relate on Newtonian physics for the most part –the science of inert objects that our senses can see (planets, solids, stones, etc). This physics works well to explain causal and mechanistic events in the world. We can definitely predict how fast a stone will hit the floor depending on gravity, or where a planet will shine in the sky next year. The Newtonian physics copes well with the way our natural language operates by seeing objects and interactions between them (the dog runs after the cat, the moon shines during the night, and so on). Newtonian physics and causal/dual language works well in a stable world, a world that doesn’t change much, in which we can mostly make reliable predictions. As for relativity and quantum physics, they mostly address objects and scales that don’t operate in our human scale and that our biological senses can’t grab. Hence, even after 100 years since they appeared, they still don’t really help understand our daily reality, unless you have a good abstract mind.

Chaos, the transition space for emergence

Bruno articulates his work around 2 powerful assumptions:

  1. Our world has left the stable state (ecological balance, season cycles, predictable climate, etc) to enter into a phase of chaos. In this phase everything becomes possible, from a big collapse to a new, higher, more complex and more conscious order
  2. Chaos theory provides us with super powerful tools and methods to understand what happens, and to take real action in our lives

Butterfly in courtHere comes the real juice. Bruno Marion doesn’t talk much about “theory” (again, you’ll find very good online content and books on this part). He offers a practical ways to look at the world and navigate through it with the lenses of a fractal world. Through many concrete life situations, he shows how this applies to governance, economy, politics, sex, everyday life, building a company, organizing your time, building your relationships, designing technology, embracing your identity, etc. Reading his book or listening to his conferences will help you see that the old mental maps mislead us because they don’t match the field anymore. In a metaphoric way, would you use a static paper map if you knew the ground changes its configuration all the time? Of course not. But we do it with our old mental maps. We need inner dynamic maps, or to say it with my own words, a language of flows.

So, whether you want to understand why your sense of self doesn’t match social reality anymore, or why your company doesn’t work anymore, or why politics can’t do it anymore, go read and listen to Bruno Marion.

 

Check Bruno Marion’s website.


Feudalism and money

Last September 2010 my dear friend and brother Eric Harris-Braun wrote a wonderful post on his blog called “A story about expressive capacity“, which I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the economic shift should read. Thanks Eric for this wonderful post!

Another story we may want to link to the one written by Eric is the 100% isomorphism between feudal power on the land and feudal power on money. The feudalism based on land has moved to feudalism on money. The idea I want to stress here is not much political or sociological, but ontological.

If we place ourselves in the shoes (if they had some) of a serf or peasant of the 9th-15th centuries, land was inseparable from a lord (more precisely the lords-vassals-fiefs order). In the inner subjective reality, land+lord were a unit that the mind was not able to separate. Land had the nature of the lord, the lord had the nature of the land. Dissociating them required a complete leap of mind that challenged the cosmic and social order. And even if the land and the lord were mentally separated, so what? What’s after? The ontological separation is the first step, but then the mind is asked to imagine and build a whole new functional universe that works, that’s the second step — the big one. Only a few visionaries have such capacities, then they have to deal with everyone’s incredulity and inertia.

I guess we face the same challenge today with money. Wealth is undifferentiated from money, the same way land was undifferentiated from a lord. Both pairs wealth-money, land-lord share the same ontological bond. When we say “someone is wealthy”, it means this person has lot’s of money, which indirectly ties this person with the current monetary feudal system. My feeling is most (r)evolutions begin when consciousness starts to decouple some of these pairs.

“Complementary currencies” are the first step people make when they decouple money and wealth. The current monetary order is so pervasive that it doesn’t leave space for the mind to rebuild a whole new order. Consciousness needs a long, long journey before it can create a whole new world that is not “alternative” or “complementary” to the existing one, but a pure creation. Right now we are still in the first step of unbinding wealth and money. Even if we do it in the mental level, the practical aspect is still very very challenging.

Even “free currencies” still keep us attached to the old paradigm of seeing human societies as market places, whereas we now need to seem them as conscious living systems in which subjective reality is as important as objective flows.

That’s why I love the verb “to weal”. “Let me weal you”, or “let’s weal” will mean let’s build, measure, acknowledge, exchange, trade, experience, shine wealth together, without ontological strings tied to a centralized proprietary monopolistic technology.

Sooo, thanks Eric, your post wealed me!


Use essence rather than function

Part of my research work is how ontology (our language structures that define our relationship to the world) builds our collective self, and how these invisible architectures often maintain the collective entrapped in predictable social structures that self perpetuate via language. Same seed, same tree… same invisible architectures, same society. Language creates reality, reality creates language, as an endless mirror that keeps us trapped, unless we open up to the Divine evolutionary spark that shifts the whole thing to a whole new set of self-reflecting mirrors.

Many of the ontological structures that we use today carry archaic forms of consciousness (which include violence and domination), and for the most part they carry and duplicate the memes (units of culture) that perpetuate pyramidal collective intelligence (the form of CI that still prevails in our society).

One of these (many) old ontological structures can be seen in our habit to use substantive words that express a function, a social status or state, rather than essence. Examples:

  • the homeless rather than people without a home
  • a user in the software world, rather than a person (shall we say some day a person interface rather than a user interface?)
  • a prisoner rather than an imprisoned person
  • an Italian rather than an Italian person
  • etc

We use generic terms such as the French, the Africans, the geeks, the red necks, the blacks, the WASP, the gays, the Republicans, etc, as social, functional or ethnic classes that are named by social attributes.

In every single example above, the essence has been put aside to the point that we get to hide it completely from our consciousness. We are not talking about a person, a being, or a human being anymore, which express and acknowledge the subject as its own essence. Our attention is directed to (and diverted by) the function, rank or status given to the person by the society, as social attributes. It is a first step to dishumanizing ourselves, seeing the other as a utility, a function, an attribute that mixes with essence. By doing so we obliterate our innate capacity to acknowledge ourselves, celebrate life in general as sacred and unalienable.

Today I recommend we don’t much use the word user in the flowplace and in any other piece of software we create, but that we replace it with essence-based words, as a way of acknowledging the sacredness in every corner of our languaging of the world. Person is definitely one of these words.

For a long time I am trying to educate myself to use words and expressions that acknowledge our sacredness and true nature. As usual this is a long journey, a long inner education that has no social substrate to support it. It’s about creating a new culture from inward out.

Usual business 🙂

 

 


Let's stayconnected