Conscious Evolution: The Next Stage of Human Development

By Barbara Marx Hubbard

Abstract: Conscious evolution is emerging in our generation because humanity has gained the powers of codestruction of our world, or the cocreation of immeasurable futures. The purpose of conscious evolution is to learn how to be responsible for the ethical guidance of evolution. This new world view arises out of three new conditions: the new cosmology, the new crises, and our new capacities, leading toward a macroshift. The Foundation for Conscious Evolution is formed to discover and offer a new developmental path to the next stage of human evolution. It offers three projects to serve this purpose: Gateway to Our Conscious Evolution, a 6 month on line educational program; the development of a conscious evolution community in Santa Barbara, and the formation of a “Peace Room” on the web and in localities to scan for, map, connect and communicate what is working to heal and evolve our world.

Key words: co- evolution, co-creation, community, synergy, vision.

PART I: CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION
The human species is facing a great transition from one stage of evolution to the next. In our generation, Homo sapiens sapiens has gained unprecedented technological and social power to either destroy this world as we know it, or to cocreate an immeasurable future. We stand at a threshold, and it has become clear that if we continue to use our new powers in the same state of conscious in which we created them, we can wreck greater havoc upon ourselves and the other species of Earth. But if we use our new powers wisely, we will transcend the current human condition, not only solving our problems but participating in the cocreation of futures that are chosen, open-ended, and ever-evolving.

The human species is facing a great transition from one stage of evolution to the next. In our generation, Homo sapiens sapiens has gained unprecedented technological and social power to either destroy this world as we know it, or to cocreate an immeasurable future. We stand at a threshold, and it has become clear that if we continue to use our new powers in the same state of conscious in which we created them, we can wreck greater havoc upon ourselves and the other species of Earth. But if we use our new powers wisely, we will transcend the current human condition, not only solving our problems but participating in the cocreation of futures that are chosen, open-ended, and ever-evolving.

The necessity to learn how to evolve consciously is actually an evolutionary imperative that has taken us by surprise. The fact is, through our advanced understanding of nature, we have suddenly gained radical new powers, the magnitude of which we used to attribute to our gods. But we are not prepared to act as gods!

Eric Chaisson writes of the impact and responsibility of these new powers when he points out that the “emergence of technologically intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere, heralds a whole new era, a Life Era. Why? Because technology, for all its pitfalls, enables life to begin to control matter, much as matter evolved to control radiative energy more than 10 billion years ago….The implications of our newly gained power over matter are nothing short of cosmic….As sentient beings we are currently beginning to exert a weighty influence in the establishment of a “universal life” with all its attendant features, not least of which potentially include species immortality and cosmic consciousness” (Chaisson, 1988).

Drawn forth by this evolutionary condition of unparalleled danger and opportunity, a new world view is arising, one that has the potential of offering a set of ideas, tools, and capacities—a new memetic code—that can serve our species to navigate through this transition. It is called conscious evolution.

One of my favorite definitions of conscious evolution was given by Prof. A. Harris Stone in a personal conversation: “Conscious evolution can be seen as an awakening of the ‘memory’ that resides in a synthesis of human knowing—spiritual, social and scientific—joined in the effort to discover the inherent evolutionary design, a design which we strive to manifest through ethical choice and creative action.”

As Jonas Salk put it: “Conscious evolution will emerge from the evolutionary of consciousness and the consciousness of evolution” (Salk, 1983). Bela H. Banathy says simply: “Conscious evolution enables us to use the creative power of our minds to guide our systems and our society toward the fulfillment of their potential” (Banathy, 1996).

Conscious evolution as a world view began to emerge in the latter half of the 20th century because of scientific, social, and technological ability that have given us the power to affect the evolution of life on Earth. There is a large and growing body of evolutionary knowledge in almost every field, and many key evolutionary thinkers and activists are at work, such as Bela Banathy (Banathy, 2000); David Bohm (Bohm, 1980); Eric Chaisson (Chaisson, 1987); Riane Eisler (Eisler, 1987); D. Elgin (Elgin, 1993); E. Jantsch (Jantsch, 1975); Ervin Laszlo (E. Laszlo, 2000, 1994); Brian Swimme (Swimme 1992); P. Russell (Russell, 1995 ); B Bruteau (Bruteau,1997); Jean Houston (Houston, 2000); and Ken Wilber (Wilber,1995). The list is growing, however there is not yet a definable field called conscious evolution to coordinate all the separate growing-edge insights to direct our immense new powers toward the common good.

The purpose of this meta-discipline, this discipline of disciplines, is to learn how to be responsible for the ethical guidance of evolution. It is a quest to understand the processes of developmental change, to identify inherent values for the purpose of learning how to cooperate with these processes to foster positive futures, both near term and long range (Hubbard, 1998).

The world view of conscious evolution can provide a new context for education, transcending the separation of disciplines through a whole systems approach, orienting and guiding us toward meaningful vocations and life purpose. Conscious evolution reveals to us that here is an emerging developmental path which we can deliberately enter upon in the greatest learning experiment since the advent of language.

Why Conscious Evolution Now?

It is important to realize how new the concept of conscious evolution is. This newness explains why it has not yet, in general, been incorporated into our academic, political, and religious world views.

There are three new elements vital to conscious evolution. I call them the 3 C’s, namely, the new Cosmology, the new Crises, and the new Capacities (Hubbard, 1998).

The first is the new Cosmology. We recognize now that the universe originated mysteriously through a singularity, an emergence, not fully understood, that it has been evolving for billions of years, and is still evolving now through us as well as throughout the entire cosmos. Brian Swimme has said: “During the modern period, we have moved from that dominant spatial mode of consciousness, where time is experienced in ever-renewing seasonal cycle, to a dominant time-developmental mode of consciousness, where time is experienced as an evolutionary sequence of irreversible transformations” (Swimme, Berry, 1992).

The discovery of cosmogenesis gives rise to an evolutionary consciousness that is requisite to the practice of conscious evolution. We recognize that the universe has a history and a direction, and therefore, so do we. Awareness of cosmogenesis reinforces our own impulse to evolve in history, not purely as a metaphysical event, or happening in an after world. This awareness helps us see the future not as more of the same, but as potentially radically new, self-transcending, fulfilling our age-old yearning for our own transformation. For we see, in witnessing the billions of years, that evolution is continually self-transcending, manifesting the rise of consciousness and freedom through an ever more complex order, and we see that we are part of that story.

Yet we also see that the future is a contingency, not an inevitability. Most of the species that ever existed on our planet are now extinct. Our future depends on us, ever more so, as we gain the powers which can lead us down the paths of destruction or cocreativity. The new cosmology sets the context for faith in the possibility of long range positive futures, and helps us formulate visions of ideal futures and work toward them.

A second reason for the newness of conscious evolution is our new Crises. We are facing a set of complex and rapidly escalating crises in our world which could render the human species extinct. There are no experts to guide us in the great transition from a high technology species destroying its own environment toward a coevolutionary species capable of developing and manifesting an ethical, evolutionary agenda. The set of crises can be interpreted as “evolutionary drivers” on a planetary scale, forcing us to gain evolutionary consciousness and practice conscious evolution, or to suffer degradation and self destruction.

The third great new factor in the advent of conscious evolution is our new Capacities. These capacities reside in our advancing technologies, such as biotechnology, nuclear power, nanotechnology, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, space development, as well as new social technologies that offer us methods of greater cooperation, synergy, and evolutionary design through systems thinking and organizational application. The “noosphere,” a term used for the thinking layer of Earth by Teilhard de Chardin (De Chardin, 1955), is maturing rapidly as a “superorganism” combining our collective consciousness and capacities (Stock,1993). As individuals, we are not much different physically than we were 2000 years ago, but the noosphere is radically empowered. Our new technological and social capacities are already transforming the material world, including our own bodies.

If we learn ethical evolution, combining evolutionary consciousness, conscious evolution and evolutionary design capacities, as Eric Chaisson said, we stand at the beginning of “universal life,” a term of unknown, undefined potential (Chaisson, 1987).

From the perspective of conscious evolution, activated by these three new conditions—the new cosmology, the new crises, and our new capacities—we see ourselves as a cross over generation from one phase of evolution to the next.

We are undergoing what Ervin Laszlo calls a macroshift, which he defines as “a bifurcation in the evolutionary dynamic of a society—in our interacting and interdependent world, it is a bifurcation of human civilization in its quasi totality…..The chaotic state is not an unordered, random state but one where even immeasurably small fluctuations produce measurable, macroscopic effects…When a human society reaches the limits of its stability, it becomes supersensitive and is highly responsive to the smallest fluctuation…Then the system responds even to subtle changes in values, beliefs, worldviews, and aspiration” (Laszlo, 2001).

The stakes are high. There are no experts. The time is short. The question is: What do we need to know to practice self- and social-evolution? What constitutes a new developmental path that can take us through this great transition to the actual “other side” of the evolutionary leap?

We might ask: How can we meet the four conditions set by Bela H. Banathy to give a hopeful direction to our evolution, which are: “1) the development of evolutionary consciousness; 2) the attainment of a will of conscious evolution; 3) the acquisition of evolutionary competence through evolutionary learning; and 4) the activation of evolutionary competence in creating an evolutionary vision as a guiding image of the future” (Banathy, 1996).

PART II: THE ACTIVATION OF CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION: THE WORK OF THE FOUNDATION OF CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION

The Foundation for Conscious Evolution has been formed to respond to this epochal set of questions, and is creating a new context for an inclusive developmental path to the next stage of human evolution. To initiate this developmental path, the Foundation is engaged in three main projects which are offered through The Center for Conscious Evolution web site (see References). These are:

PROJECT ONE: The Gateway to our Conscious Evolutionis the beginning of an evolutionary education system designed to empower people to become conscious cocreators of their own futures in alignment with the patterns of evolution.

PROJECT TWO: The Development of a Conscious Evolution Community in Santa Barbara, California, is dedicated to designing a synergetic social system which will liberate each person to give their gift for the good of the self and the whole community, and serves as a template for other future-creating communities that are working for a more direct and synergetic democracy.

PROJECT THREE: The Formation of a “Peace Room”(on the web and in localities) to identify, map, connect and communicate what is working toward a compassionate and creative world. The first Global Peace Room is on the Center for Conscious Evolution web site, and the first local Peace Room is being initiated by the Santa Barbara Conscious Evolution community.

Each of these three interrelated projects is described in more detail below, showing how they contribute to the formation of a new developmental path in our human evolution.

PROJECT ONE: The Gateway to Our Conscious Evolution

The Gateway to Our Conscious Evolution. is a six month, on-line educational program that covers seven great themes or portals that anyone would need to know to practice self and social evolution. The seven portals take participants from an understanding of the nature of the universe through personal, relational, vocational, and social evolution to a vision of him or herself “on the other side” of the evolutionary jump. Gateway connects participants with a living web of people, projects, ideas, and partners now transforming the world. Participants are encouraged to find their unique vocation and to connect that creativity with teammates and evolving needs within society.

As of this writing, over 500 people in the United States, Canada, South America, England and South Africa are field-testing the Gateway on the Internet and in small groups, preparing it to be introduced to the larger public in the fall of 2002. Approximately 20 “Gateway Guides” are taking the course, enrolling and guiding their own group of students on the Gateway,They will certified teachers of conscious evolution.

Gateway is the beginning of a school for conscious evolution. It fosters evolutionary consciousness and invites participants throughout the world to form conscious evolution communities and to connect the positive in their own localities. Gateway offers an early “map” of our cosmic evolution from the origin of creation to the present and beyond, seeing ourselves participating in the next turn of the spiral of evolution, unfolding through seven portals which are described below.

---------------------------------------------

Diagram of the 7 Portals

--------------------------------------

Portal One: The Whole Story. The underlying context for conscious evolution springs from new views of the nature of the universe that scientifically explore the possibility that our cosmos is not a fragmented and lifeless machine, but is instead a unified living system that is self-organizing, continuously self-maintaining, self-renewing, and self-transcending (Elgin, 2000).

Portal 2: The Emergence of the Cocreative Person: A New Self Image. From this perspective a compelling new self image of an evolving human emerges. Based on new views of the nature of the universe and cosmogenesis, we discover there is an implicate order—pattern, generative force, syntropic tendency, transcendent and dynamic reality, whatever name we call it—toward more harmonious order that is generating in us our own motivation to evolve. We are the universe in person. No longer aliens alone in a cosmic void, we experience ourselves to be vital expressions of the living universe. We place ourselves in the story, as integral elements of the story, as expressions of the whole process of creation. Our deepest aspirations and yearnings are interpreted as the evolutionary impulse personified in, or even more accurate, as each of us.

In Portal 2, we seek to make the internal shift within ourselves from egoic personalities to essential, connected selves, and learn to become cocreative with the process of evolution (Almaas, 1986 ) (Hubbard, 2001).

Portal 3: Cocreative Relationship. Cocreative relationships are the working out of the Golden Rule to love one another as ourselves. It is the ethic of all great traditions normalized and practiced as a social necessity. Riane Eisler describes this change in relationship as the shift from the dominator to the partnership model, from forced ranking to linking by affinity (Eisler, 2000).

There are countless support groups of all kinds forming throughout the world. In Portal 3 we practice forming “resonant cores” to stabilize our identity at the essential self level, learning compassionate listening, forgiveness, love, harmony (Anderson, Roske, 2001). It is soon discovered, as resonance and affirmation deepen, that our creativity is stimulated in the field of appreciation and encouragement. We long to express life purpose in partnership with others who need our unique creativity as we need theirs. Resonant cores dedicated to personal growth tend towards cocreative vocational cores, dedicated to discovering and manifesting life purpose, while being the change we want to see in the world. The developmental path continues to unfold.

Portal 4: Cocreative Vocation. Cocreative Vocation is the life purpose of the individual expressed and manifested in such a way that it evolves the person and serves the world. It is the “golden bridge” from our inner work to outer manifestation, the vital impulse that carries the evolving human toward maturity in the world through chosen work. Vocation is the life pulse that urges us to procreate becoming the creative impulse that drives us to cocreate through expression of our life callings. In the conditions of love and safety, the great drives of self preservation and self-reproduction extend into the desire for self expression, self actualization and self transcendence. The higher human values are cultivated naturally.

The Gateway is developing a data-base where participants can place their vocational profiles, state their goals, needs and resources, and be facilitated by the computer in finding one another. As the data-base grows, anyone anywhere in the world can put in their own purpose and be empowered to connect and cocreate with others, fostering a renaissance of human creativity.

The outlines of the developmental path emerge. It begins with our understanding of the Whole Story, unfolds through the emerging person, blossoms through cocreative relationships, grows through cocreative vocation, and comes into form through communities of social pioneers who hold the “whole in their hearts” as they learn to do their part in the cocreation of their world.

Portal 5: Synergetic Community. In the developmental path it is soon obvious that one cannot fully express and manifest unique creativity in chosen work in a world that is dissonant and unreceptive to our vocations. We cannot change large systems, or fix dysfunctional systems. We do what Bela H. Banathy calls for, “transcend and create” through the visioning of the ideal state and then creating design spaces to work toward that state, realizing new potential by building upon unfolded potential.

Banathy writes: “The evolutionary quantum jump, the big change, will happen in our myriads of communities, living and acting all over the evolutionary landscape. They will become the forces of conscious evolution” (Banathy, 2000).These types of new communities may be called “agoras,” named after the 5th century Greek polis, or city-state where direct democracy was initiated. “The New Agoras, the evolutionary design spheres and communities of conscious evolution, will offer us functional contexts of self-guided evolution that are tangible and can be brought to action” (Banathy, 2000).

The focus in Portal 5 is learning how to cocreate synergetic community and linking with others who are doing the same. The Santa Barbara Conscious Evolution community described below in Project 2 is an example of synergetic community-in-formation.

Portal 6: Cocreative Society. Now we come to the most challenging of the seven portals. It is relatively easy to demonstrate our values and aspirations in personal work, in small groups, and even small communities of like-minded pioneers. But how can these smaller activities translate into change at the societal level, when all about us we see dysfunctionalities, threats of environmental collapses, and intolerable suffering of billions of people and other species?

How can we bring into being a Cocreative Society—a world in which each of us is free to do and be our best in harmony and partnership with each other, with nature, and with the enfolded pattern of evolution? What can we do to nudge the bifurcation toward an evolutionary future equal to our spiritual, social and scientific potential?

Nature takes jumps through greater synergy. A key to a social quantum jump is to rapidly increase social synergy, which is the connecting of the countless positive innovations, initiatives and organizations dedicated to healing and evolving our world. To foster a cocreative society, conscious evolutionaries must quickly invent new ways of collaboration and cocreation among the emerging innovations and innovators now actually transforming our world. If we are in a dissipative social system far from equilibrium, in the midst of a macroshift, then the crucial action is to exponentially increase the connectedness and communication among novel and constructive activities. As we invent processes of social synergy, we can facilitate our global system to jump to a higher order. If we can destroy our world in 20-50 years, can we not, in the same timeframe, nudge the flow of evolution at the bifurcation point toward a more complex and harmonious order? I think the answer is yes, we can, and we must.

In Portal 6 the Foundation offers the beginnings of such a new social function. We call it the Peace Room, an evolutionary intervention to foster social synergy, locally and globally, to serve the emergence of the Cocreative Society. Our vision is that our Peace Rooms become more sophisticated than our governmental war rooms, and eventually replace them as we learn that the moral alternative to war is the conscious evolution of humanity. (The “Peace Room,” is described later in Project Three.)

Portal 7: Visions of the Next Stage of Evolution. In 1945, when the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, I asked some questions which have motivated my life. What is the purpose of our new powers that is good? What are positive images of our own future commensurate with these powers? Where is modern civilization going? What is our story? I discovered that no one knew. It was not written anywhere. Science fiction touched upon it. Spiritual visions of another life had magnetized us—the New Jerusalem, paradise, the new heavens and the new Earth—but they were fading due to the new scientific understanding of the processes of creation. The modern world was, and is still, groping between stories and images of its own future. Nihilism, pessimism, alienation, and regressive behaviors of all kinds often fill the gap as we use our vast new powers for over-consumption and over-defense, rather than for evolution and transformation.

In Portal 7, we use our imagination to create a “strange attractor” to draw us forward. We take our stand on “the other side,” not as angels, ghosts, or gods, but as evolving humans, at the next stage of our own evolution, We “image in” our potential future that attracts us, based on imagining what it will be like when everything we know we can do works in harmony with nature and our highest aspirations. We draw our hope and our visions from the transformative power of the great 15 billion year tradition which is pulsing in our blood and bones.

-----------------------------------------------

Diagram of the Mandala of Synergy

------------------------------------------------

Here we focus on quantum innovations that could transform the world, real new possibilities such as , accessing zero point energy, stabilizing evolutionary consciousness; outer space development, overcoming aging, self-healing, shared contact with other life, etc. These capacities or possibilities lead to radical newness rather than incremental improvement. Seen as a harmonious, emergent whole system, connected at all points, as in a Mandala of Synergy, these quantum potentials offer us the basis for genuine visions of transformation. The mystical and the scientific fuse in evolutionary potentiality of life after this stage of evolution.

As the developmental path unfolds and our visions emerge from the mists of evolutionary consciousness we begin to see thatthe meaning of our new crises is to activate our new potentials, and that the purpose of our power is to foster within ourselves the emergence of a universal humanity, capable of co-evolution with nature and cocreation with spirit.

Once participants are enrolled in the Gateway, they have access to it for life long learning. In Gateway “101” I serve as narrator and senior guide. As we grow, many mini-courses will be developed by master evolutionary teachers and guides until we have a living school for the conscious evolution of humanity.

PROJECT TWO: The Santa Barbara Conscious Evolution Community As An Example of Synergetic Community

To facilitate the anchoring of this world view, and to develop a template for the formation of a conscious evolution community, the Foundation has develop a catalytic set of actions to focus, empower, and accelerate the formation of synergetic community both locally in Santa Barbara, and globally, via the Internet. Our goal is to offer a framework and processes for synergy among communities forming both on line and in localities around the world who share the principles and values of conscious evolution.

The formation of the Santa Barbara Community began with a question in October 1998 that was the catalyst that formed this conscious evolution community. At a speech at City College’s Mind/SuperMind series, I gave a talk on conscious evolution. Then, spontaneously, without any preconceived plan, I asked the enthusiastic audience a question: What would happen if this community in Santa Barbara were to experience its own potential for self- and social-evolution – as a whole community? Would anyone be interested?

One hundred and eighty five people raised their hands and put their names in a box. Everything followed from this question and response.

The “call” to conscious evolution attracts a certain kind of evolutionary personality, one that has been yearning to go beyond his or her current state of development, people who feel out of category. Whether successful or not in their field, they long for a larger context in which to work (Hubbard, 1982). When the world view is expressed as an invitation to participate in self and social evolution with others, there is an immediate and excited response. I believe that if the same question I asked the Santa Barbara community were asked in any community in the developed world, a sizable group would form and want to enter the process of conscious self and social evolution together. In Santa Barbara, our community has grown organically. Below are some of the observations and questions that are arising.

• A key to the self-organizing of a conscious evolution community is people’s longing to give their gift into a receptive whole. A key characteristic of a conscious evolutionary is a yearning to more fully express talent and creativity in meaningful work (Portal 4). Current society hardly offers most of us this opportunity. The design of synergetic community is to emancipate in each person their unique contribution, so that that gift can be given for the sake of the individual and the community as a whole (Portal 5). This yearning serves as a continuing motivation, keeping people cocreating together on behalf of a deep evolutionary motivation that cannot be fulfilled in most of current jobs or functions

“The whole organizes the parts into an evolutionary model” (Banathy, 2000).

As a structure of self-organization we used the “Wheel of Cocreation” which also serves as the structure for the Peace Room.

---------------------------------------------------

Diagram Wheel of Cocreation

---------------------------------------------------

The “Wheel of Cocreation” represents a symbolic overview of what is emerging and life enhancing during this moment of evolution seen as a whole system. Each sector of the Wheel represents a vital function of society at local, regional and global levels. It was an holistic matrix that aided us in our self organization. “Evolution is directed by the innate tendency of the whole to create unity within its parts and synthesize their differences [Lorenz,1977].

Ultimately, each sector is to be filled with initiatives that work in harmony with natural systems and human aspirations.. The invitation to participants from the Foundation was to enter the Wheel based on their vocational attraction, or their desire to create. The Foundation facilitated them to join up with others to form vocational cores dedicated both to stabilizing the inner self (Portal 2), to developing cocreative relationships (Portal 3), and to fulfilling the life purpose of its members in the context of the community, and in service to the larger world (Portal 4).

The key idea here is that every one has a unique “genius code,” just as we have a unique genetic code. When people get “vocationally-aroused,” they desire to express their life purpose. They long to join not their genes to have a baby, but to join their genius to give birth to the greater potential within themselves and to make a difference in the world. This passion toward self-expression and life purpose is one of the magnetic attractors that keeps people involved in the synergetic community building. The Santa Barbara community formed by “vocational affinity” in each sector of the Wheel of Cocreation, and has been meeting in core groups for almost three years as of this writing.

We sought to be the change we wanted to see in the world. The Foundation suggested to the vocational core groups that before people move outward toward tasks or projects, they stay together , cultivating resonance, learning compassionate communication, working toward the inner shift from ego to essence, and deepening their sense of purpose before taking action (Portals 2 and 3). It does not suffice to go forth into the world to change something outside oneself, if the inner personality is still driven, separate and addicted. It was necessary to refrain from immediate action to focus first on the humble yet deeply rewarding task of self-evolution. The community became imbued with the possibility that we are experiencing the emergence of the next stage in human evolution within ourselves, personally (Hubbard, 2000).

Tolerance of ambiguity is vital. There is no certain path to synergetic community. Transformation leads to newness, and there are no full scale models of conscious evolution yet. Some individuals could not tolerate this ambiguity, this not knowing exactly what we were doing.
The parts sought to become a whole system. . We met together in monthly Assemblies of the Whole, embryonic gatherings, groping toward the question of how individuals and core groups might actually form together a more comprehensive whole. As the whole attracts the parts, the parts long to become whole. The Foundation for Conscious Evolution served as facilitator and coordinator of this inquiry.

We were becoming an evolutionary learning community. Bela Banathy’s Guided Evolution of Society became a key text. In the text, the whole field of socio-cultural evolution is laid out for the first time. His description of the new agoras, or future-creating communities was precisely what we were doing, intuitively. We had created a design space and were working toward a shared purpose and vision.

A Chaordic Design Group was formed to study Dee Hock’s Chaordic Design methodology and to offer his process to the community. We began the effort to identify shared purpose and principles. “The organization of the future will be the embodiment of community based on shared purpose calling to the higher aspirations of people…” (Hock,1999).

At the same time, a group was formed to study Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics [Beck,cowan.1996]. Beck fused Clare Graves’ work with the young science of memetics, and more recently Ken Wilber’s All Quadrants/All Levels (Wilber, 2000). Beck identifies various world views that are in fact valuesMEMEs, as a “coding mechanism that inculcates every aspect of society” [Beck,1999]. Beck saw that there is a “new tier” of world views that can integrate all world views, and can help to guide the whole system. He named these Integrative and Holistic world views that “contain the intelligences to macromanage the whole human Spiral. “ We saw the image of what we were aspiring toward as a natural next step in human evolution

Concurrent with the Chaordic Design Team, and the study of Banathy and of Beck, a small core group formed to develop a local Santa Barbara “Peace Room.” Both teams have been working for almost two years.

The Santa Barbara Peace Room Group. The Santa Barbara (SB) Peace Room Group is working with the 12 sector Wheel of Cocreation to organize a first local community Peace Room process. It is the same structure in which the original vocational core groups formed.

An early form of synergetic democracy is emerging. The SB Peace Room Group plan to identify “stewards” for every sector of the Wheel, developing values and criteria for evolutionary innovations in each functional area of society. Concurrently, we will first organize a process of “vocational mingling” for members of the Conscious Evolution Community, where participants in each sector of the wheel share their desire to create, their needs and their resources. We will map our own initiatives, cultivating synergy and cocreativity.

Then, the SB Peace Room group plans to reach out to the larger community to discover important innovators and creators in functional areas of Santa Barbara, inviting them to come together in synergetic events, such as Town Meetings in the Round with local media and Internet coverage, to seek common goals and match needs with resources. For example, a former candidate for mayor will help reach out to other evolutionaries in city government.
Thus, we will facilitate synergy both in our own small community, and in the larger Santa Barbara Community, while spreading the meme of conscious evolution. Furthermore, the SB Peace Room is placed on the Center for Conscious Evolution website, and in the Gateway to Our Conscious Evolution educational on-line course (Portal 5), offering tools and templates to other communities who wish to initiate their own local Peace Room.

How does a conscious evolution community self-govern? Meanwhile, we had to face the question of self-governance. The Foundation had been facilitating and coordinating the Conscious Evolution Community, but there was some question of our role as authority. If the community were to develop and serve as a template for others, we would have to shift our role from coordinators and facilitators to members. The Foundation chose to release the coordinator/facilitator role into the community, inviting them and ourselves to form some sort of self-governing system. A question we faced was: How does authority arise in synergetic community?

As of this writing, a Transition Team has formed, open to all by self-selection, to assist the community in developing some form of Council, or, as someone said, “to form a more perfect union.” Representative democracy must be deepened to a direct, participatory form of democracy. We are learning that we must become self governing, maturing emotionally in order to practice genuine self-government. Through various methods, mainly the open fishbowl, the Chaordic Team, now expanded to about 25 people, is experimenting with how to become a Council.

We have been bogged down as to our decision-making process, seeking to avoid the pitfalls of normal win-lose voting, and the difficulty of agreement by consensus, wherein any person can stall the whole process. We realize that there is a wide body of information innovations in the democratic process, but we have not been ready to do extensive research and application.

Our first step is to learn better methods of dialogue and decision-making. At the moment, we are consulting with Alexander Christakis, to learn his process of “Structured Dialogue.” The key is a facilitated dialogue designed to protect the autonomy and authority of every person within the context of the meaning and complexity of all the members involved. I believe his work is vital to the development of synergetic democracy” (Christakis, 2001).

The current purpose that the Transition Team has offered for the yet-to-be formed Council is: “To facilitate the self-governance of our co-creative community in the realization of its aims and visions.”

As many communities experiment in how to move toward a more direct, harmonious participation in the co-design of our own futures, they will naturally spread throughout the world. Such human-scale communities are islands of new social life in the dysfunctional world. Gradually, I believe they will replicate, just as Bela H. Banathy envisions, a growing network of agoras of all kinds, until at some point, in the not too distant future, they will attract millions who are self-ejecting from dysfunctional jobs and activities that do not nourish the quality and potential of life on Earth. A new kind of society itself will emerge as the next stage in the developmental path.

PROJECT THREE: The Global Peace Room

As a local Peace Room is developing as part of the Santa Barbara community initiative, the Foundation is placing an early model of a “Global Peace Room” on our Center for Conscious Evolution web site to serve as a context and social matrix for a whole system shift toward the next stage of our evolution. The Global Peace Room is the central organizing structure which the Foundation uses to foster social synergy in the emergence of the Cocreative Society (Portal 6). It opens up an arena of social synergy to connect points of positive transformation fostering a social quantum jump toward a future equal to our full potential.

The formation of an evolutionary guidance network. To begin the process at this stage, the Foundation for Conscious Evolution is identifying 25 “evolutionary colleagues” representing each sector of the Wheel of Cocreation, individuals whose life and work are actually successfully transforming some sector of society. Each colleague is networked into their fields, representing not just themselves but many others.

We are inviting the colleagues to form a sustainable, interactive evolutionary information and communication network that will continually inform each other, the Peace Room as whole, and the general public, of what is working, what is breaking down, and what is breaking through. These innovations will be mapped and connected to discover the synergy among the innovating elements. The work of the colleagues will be seen as connected, coherent elements within the evolving whole system, rather than as separate fields and subjects as the current educational system is structured.

Design Team to discover the pattern of the whole and the evolutionary agenda. We will invite a small design team of whole system thinkers to discover the pattern of the whole that is emerging now from what is working. Out of this pattern we seek to identify an Evolutionary Agenda based on what is working to heal and evolve our world.

I host a “Live from the Peace Room” Internet radio show on Wisdom Internet Radio. We intend to expand this communication outreach, eventually to become a planetary media communication system and “operating hub” for the global community of pioneering souls now transforming our world.

Global cocreation facilitated. People all over the world, including, of course, Gateway participants, are invited to place their own projects in the Peace Room on the Internet and in their own community Peace Rooms. Through interactive technologies, we will assist people in finding their partners, in knowing who else is doing the work in their area of the world, what are the best projects in the field, and who might be their teachers, mentors and guides. Participants in Gateway will help build the Global Peace Room as well as placing their own projects within it. The living field of conscious evolution will be made visible and usable.

Thus a new developmental path is unfolding through our collective endeavors. By identifying the deeper patterns of evolution, and connecting creative innovators of our time with people throughout the world who desire to participate more fully we can together cocreate new social systems for conscious evolution.

REFERENCES

Almaas AH. 1986 Essence: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization. Samuel Weiser: York Beach, Maine.

Anderson C, Roske K. 2001. The Co-Creator’s Handbook: An Experiential Guide for Discovering your Life’s Purpose and Building a Co-Creative Society. Global Family: Nevada City, CA

Banathy BH. 1996. Designing Social Systems in a Changing World. Plenum Press: New York and London. 316, 317.

Banathy BH. 2000. Guided Evolution of Society: A Systems View. Academic/Plenum Publishers: New York. 312,355, 356. Web site: www.21stcenturyagora.org 2000.

Beck DE, Cowan C. 1996. Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change. Blackwell Publishers: Maldon MA.

Beck DE. 1999. The Search for Cohesion in the Age of Fragmentation: From the New World Order to the Next Global Mesh. Self published pamphlet. Don Beck, Box 797,Denton, Texas 76202.

Bohm D. 1980. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. Routledge: London.

Bruteau B. 1997. God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World. The Crossroad Publishing Co.: New York.

Chaisson E. 1987. The Life Era: Cosmic Selection and Conscious Evolution. Norton: New York.

Chaisson E. 1988. Our Cosmic Heritage. ZYGON23:4.

Christakis A. 2001. Exploring Six Principles of Dialogue for Managing Complex Societal Issues. A self published paper. World Headquarters: 1770 E. Lancaster Ave., #L5, Paoli, PA 19301. www.cwaltd.com.

De Chardin Teilhard. 1955. The Phenomenon of Man. Harper & Row: New York and San Francisco. 180

Eisler R. 1987. The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. Harper & Row: Cambridge, MA.

Eisler R. 2002. The Power of Partnership. Seven Relationships that Will change Your Life. New World Library; Novato CA.

Elgin E. 2000. Promise Ahead: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity’s Future. William Morrow: New York. 43-59.

Foundation for Conscious Evolution homepage. 2002. Gateway. [February 2002]

Goerner S. 1994. Chaos and the Evolving Ecological Universe. Gordon & Breach: Langhorne, PA.

Harman W. 1988. Global Mind Change. Knowledge Systems: Indianapolis, IN.

Hock D. 1999. Birth of the Chaordic Age. Berrett-Koehler: San Francisco.

Houston J. 2000. JumpTime: Shaping Your Future in a World of Radical Change. Penguin/Putnam: New York.

Hubbard BM. 1982. The Evolutionary Journey: A Personal Guide to a Positive Future. Evolutionary Press: CA. 163.

Hubbard BM. 1998. Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential. New World Library: Novato CA.

Hubbard BM. 2001. Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence: Ten Steps to the Universal Human. Hampton Roads: Charlottesville VA.

Jantsch E. 1975. Design for Evolution: Self-organization and Planning in the Life of Human Systems. George Braziller: New York.

Laszlo E. 1991. The Age of Bifurcation: Understanding the Changing World. Gordon & Breach: Philadelphia PA.

Laszlo E. 1994. The Choice: Evolution Or Extinction? Tarcher/Putnam: New York.

Laszlo E. 1996. Evolution: The General Theory. Hampton Press: New Jersey.

Laszlo E 2001. Macroshift: Navigating the Transformation to a Sustainable World. Berrett-Koehler: San Francisco, CA. 9, 11.

Laszlo E. 2002. The Synergy Quest: Evolutionary Vision for Change in Your World. (To be published).

Lorenz, K. 1977. Behind the Mirror: A search for the Natural History of Human Knowledge. Harcourt Brace Jonanovich.N.Y.

Russell P. 1995. The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap. Global Brain: Palo Alto CA

Salk J. 1983. Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason. Columbia University Press: New York.

Stock G. 1993. Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism. Simon & Schuster: New York.

Swimme B, Berry T. 1992. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Age. Harper: San Francisco.

Twenty-first Century Agora homepage: www. 21stcenturyagora.org.

Wilber K. 1995. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. Shambhala: Boston and London.

Wilber K. 2001. A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business Politics, Science and Spirituality. Shambhala: Boston.

Wisdom Internet Radio homepage. http://www.wisdommedia.com1996