The two discussions we had this week were once again quite different. The individuals of the group each collaborated in shifting the flow to where the energy needed to go and be explored. The first discussion on wednesday was a little fractured with confusion around daylight savings time but came together in a really beautiful, deep and inspiring collective exploration.
We discussed group and how modern tribalism may be boiling down to accepting the differences of the individual. Exploring how some of us attached ourselves to groups in order to accept aspects of ourselves that weren’t acknowledged within our family or immediate community. One member spoke of aspects of himself mixing/segregated as he was part of the stoner group and the gaming group but some of the gamers weren’t part of the stoner group so he edited himself depending on who he hung out with. Eventually he mentioned that as he allowed for different parts of himself he found his group identity becoming smaller and smaller as his natural diversity created contradictions within every group. When the group identity only fits a small part of us do we courageously express our totality or do we quietly agree and go along to simply belong?
Another human spoke of coming from a small town and that there were strict social norms, values and expectations and if a person was to question these small town ways of being, you could be cast to the outside of the community. This human also went on to say that people move into the city where there is a diversity of individuals and groups to find possibility and opportunity to feel accepted for aspects of themselves.
So what is going on in those small communities that push different expressions of being to the outer circles? What does it take to shift a community from a monoculture to a healthy and diverse ecosystem?
Fear, people pleasing, looking good, wanting to belong and be accepted, etc are all qualities that keep our individual expression compromised. What are the impacts when we censor ourselves to feel connected? Inauthenticity, resentment, gossip, secrets, confusion. Wearing the small town mask has a short term reward but a long term cost as the inauthentic interactions exhaust everyone participating and nobody barely knows who anybody really is. A delusional matrix of expectations is created.
This is incredibly damaging, just as a monoculture crop is parasitic upon the earth in which it grows. Nothing is being given back and every movement is being toxically controlled.
What about when we are within the group? Are we all different? And do we feel more of a group identity when we are in contrast to another group? Is the group identity feeding upon conflict, difference and separation to feel a sense of belonging?
It seems we are uncomfortably comfortable or comfortably numb in our safe and predictable monocultures. This screams a reasonable and average existence, one which we survive life rather than live and today with polarisation we are attacking and defending against the diversity we need to fully accept our contradictory, diverse and ever changing selves. We are bombing our neighbourhoods with chemicals that are rotting away our society from the inside, perpetuating inbred, irrelevant thought that is genetically modified and has no ability to reproduce and evolve. Closed loops of reason perpetuating their existence synthetically beyond its relevancy, much like a cancer cell that goes on living in the body, growing, with no future other than to kill its host. This signifies the clear road to extinction is through our heavily controlled, fear based mono culturing of society.
Mono-culture is convenient for control.
What does it take to shift a community from a monoculture to a healthy and diverse ecosystem?
If you look around the world we can see symbolic transitory evidence of us as a whole moving towards the chaos of weeds and then a highly functioning and diverse ecosystem of empowered individuals. The pandemic has brought isolation, social distance and a break in our habitual ways of being. The emergence of decentralised technology and philosophy is redistributing the power and responsibility back to the people. The recent social upheavals are asking for a space for marginalised and under represented groups to be allowed, accepted and have equal opportunity. Technologies such as YouTube, uber, airbnb, etc are providing us all tools to access and give access to our unique expression (these technologies are somewhere in-between centralisation and decentralisation, but clearly signify the movement towards decentralisation).
We discussed further the metaphor of the monoculture crop and asked ourselves how do we rehabilitate and return to a diverse and healthy ecosystem? We allow for the weeds to grow, to restore the life in its soil, to bring back a sense of confidence through acceptance of every expression no matter how uncomfortable it is or distasteful, knowing that this is a process to bring us back into balance.
There are plenty of weeds growing presently and our old tools are no longer suppressing or defeating them. These weeds take the form of anger, disruption, incurable disease, pandemic, economic collapse, conflict, and the internal shadow. We are forced to listen, observe and navigate a relationship with these weeds and hopefully in doing so we start to see the eternal wisdom of our individual nature sprouting forth, collaborating and contributing as a consequence of growth to form the beginnings of a healthy, robust, local and totally empowered, decentralised ecosystem.
How do you use your individuality to enable other’s individuality?