This is the third blog post is a series from Dr. Kurt Johnson and Jon Ramer:
October 7th 2023 marks another turning point, a day when the world’s ongoing turmoil reached a new peak. Faced with this latest crisis, one that challenges our understanding and tests our resilience, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. The global narrative seems to be one of madness – a world fixated on conflict and blame, as if certainty still reigns in these uncertain times. This paper aims to address this paradox, offering insights into how we can break free from this collective spell and cultivate mighty compassion amidst the chaos.
Beyond Borders: Embracing Empathy in a Divided World
Raised as an American Jew in Brooklyn and now living by the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, my life’s journey through varied cultures and beliefs has deeply shaped my worldview. Rooted in a love for Israel and a post-Holocaust ‘never again’ ethos, I’ve always been acutely aware of my heritage amidst global biases. This awareness was profoundly altered after my daughter’s 5 years in Israel and 10 year stay in Palestine, shedding light on the intricate nature of historical conflicts and human rights issues. Her experiences led me to re-examine Jewish teachings, especially against the backdrop of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.
Informed by the Jewish principle of ‘Tikkun Olam’ — the call to repair the world through social justice — I strongly believe in the Talmudic directive of empathy and fairness, ‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow’.
In my view, this ethic mandates a moral responsibility for Israel to pursue a fair and just approach with the Palestinians, aligning with fundamental Jewish values. Sadly, both Israeli and Palestinian institutions are not meeting these moral standards, failing to provide ethical governance and a path to a better future for their people.
Motivated by the stark disconnect between societal values and the actions of influential institutions, I shifted my focus post-9/11. With two decades of experience in large-scale business collaboration software, where the interplay of language and action is pivotal, I began collaborating to create a new model of economic democracy with Dee Hock, the founder of Visa International and Greg Steltenpohl the founder of Odwalla Juices. This model, rooted in aligning our core values with our economic exchanges, envisions a future where our actions and ideals are in harmony.
MIT Professor Otto Scharmer astutely observed that our current global systems often yield results nobody desires. Echoing this, anthropologist, David Graeber reminds us that these systems are our own creations, suggesting they can be remade at our will. This insight empowers us to use our creative imagination to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible, steering our collective journey towards more desirable and equitable outcomes.
The Holistic Compass: Navigating Life’s Interconnectedness through Indigenous Perspectives
In 2008, I embarked on a life-changing voyage, beginning with my involvement in the Seeds of Compassion event in Seattle with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This marked the start of a 15-year collaboration with Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. of the Four Worlds International Institute and Dineh/Navajo Wisdom Keeper Patricia Anne Davis who I met in 2007.
We launched the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities in 2010 and founded the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest in 2012, we channeled our experiences into fostering global engagement and acts of compassion, striving to create a more understanding and united world. As Chief Lane’s role in the Compassion Games and my work with Four Worlds evolved, so did my own work with understanding of Indigenous teachings. Our paper Deep Social Networks and the Digital Fourth Way embraced the application of Indigenous-led guiding principles to govern our behavior in pursuit of purpose in a new medium of social networks. The summary statement is:
Starting from within, working in a circle, in a sacred manner, we heal and develop ourselves, our relationships, and the world.
Patricia’s guidance through the Indigenous Wisdom Institute and our work on the Love Currency Embassy deepened my comprehension of Native American concepts, particularly the Indigenous knowledge of oneness, healing, and holistic living within Hozho. Their teachings revealed a profound spiritual dimension transcending conventional beliefs, akin to the natural order of seasons. The ceremonial healing process exists within the context of holiness and wholeness and gives rise to a co-creative design process. Patricia’s insights, especially her description of the universality of natural laws, have profoundly shaped my understanding of life’s interrelatedness and interconnectedness.
Revealing the Invisible: Perception Beyond Sight
The journey to a more enlightened world demands recognition of a vital but often neglected element of perception: the unseen forces that shape our reality. This notion is underlined by Peter Senge’s profound observation, ‘We don’t understand what we see. We see what we understand.’ This forms the bedrock of our quest to decipher the invisible influences that guide our views.
Our perception is more than a visual function; it’s a complex interplay of mental constructs and personal distinctions. Our unique experiences, beliefs, and cultural conditioning forge lenses that shape our view of the world, often leaving critical blind spots in our understanding. Our goal is to shed light on these obscured facets of perception, cultivating a deeper, more empathetic understanding of the myriad viewpoints that exist around us. This endeavor seeks not just to expand our perspectives but to lay the foundation for a society that values compassion and inclusivity.
In the words of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Our endeavor is not to change what we look at, but to transcend how we see. It’s a journey from sight to insight.
Let us embark on this voyage of discovering the unseen, to shift from seeing with our eyes to perceiving with wisdom. By examining our unexamined assumptions and challenging our mental models, we open ourselves to a world of possibilities – a world where understanding transcends sight, and the invisible becomes visible.
Wetiko: Unveiling the Shadow of Collective Consciousness
Wetiko, a term from Native American wisdom, describes a hidden mind virus at the core of humanity’s gravest challenges. This ‘sickness of the spirit’ operates through our unconscious, driving us towards actions that contradict our well-being. Wetiko is a psychic cannibal, an embodiment of boundless greed and insatiable consumption, waging war not only against nature and others but also against our very humanity. It’s an affliction of the soul, subtly infiltrating our collective consciousness. Recognizing that our global crises are manifestations of this inner turmoil is crucial. Without this understanding, we risk perpetuating a cycle of suffering and destruction, ensnared in an ever-intensifying nightmare.
As if an instrument of a higher intelligence, Wetiko literally invites—make that demands—that we become conscious of and step into our intrinsic creative power and agency, or suffer the consequences. Embracing compassion is crucial in dissolving the Wetiko phenomenon. This compassion isn’t just an emotion; it’s a powerful realization of our true nature, placing us amongst those who recognize life’s interconnected dreamlike state. As we awaken to this reality, lucidity and compassion naturally coalesce. They become dual aspects of our awareness, guiding us toward a more enlightened and interconnected existence.
Breaking the Collective Spell: Awakening to Our Shared Humanity
Envision a world where assigning blame and taking sides is obsolete, where the competition to validate suffering is replaced by a universal acceptance of shared responsibility. This shift acknowledges that all hands have contributed to the challenges we face today. It’s not about pointing fingers but about embracing our collective role in both the problem and the solution.
Can we transcend beyond mere coexistence to a commitment to our collective survival? It’s time we recognize that while our certainties may differ, they are equally valid in our individual realities. This acknowledgment is the first step towards building bridges of understanding.
At the heart of our journey is the need to rebuild trust – trust in each other and in our shared future. We must harness our creative imagination, not as a mere fanciful escape, but as a powerful tool for designing innovative, peace-driven strategies. These strategies should not aim for compromise but for co-creation, where every solution is a win-win, born from a place of collaboration and mutual respect.
We define ‘Co-creative Solutions’ as strategies that emerge from a collective creative process, aimed at designing pathways for peace and reconciliation. These solutions represent more than just an agreement; they are a testament to what can be achieved when diverse minds unite with a common purpose – the survival and thriving of humanity as a whole.
ONE World Impact Hub: Catalyzing Collaborative Change
Embrace Buckminster Fuller’s wisdom: Rather than combating the existing, we at ‘ONE World‘ are building new models for change. Our vision of a Deep Beloved Community of Networks focuses on co-creative solutions for a united global impact. ONE World transcends conventional barriers, creating a dynamic Architecture of Interconnectedness. It’s not just a hub; it’s the embodiment of our ‘Tales of Synergy from the Magic Canoe,’ a testament to our collaborative spirit and creative partnerships.
We’re a driving force for systemic change and innovative solutions, with over 150 missions spearheaded by social innovators. A prime example is the Brand Earth mission, reimagining commerce and empowering global citizens for environmental stewardship. Additionally, we provide sanctified and restorative environments, such as workshops designed to create Collective Mourning spaces within communities, helping to address and nurture collective grief.
Patricia Anne-Davis hosts the Love Currency Embassy and leads a course on Living the Loving Way as a Way of Life. Sommer Joy has planted her Garden of Joy, guiding us from darkness to a peaceful, enlightened existence for all life.
By integrating advanced AI as a creative partner, as detailed in ‘AI Doesn’t Care: You Do,’ and focusing on digital literacy, we navigate and shape the ‘Bubbles of Babel’ of information. We are “evolving potential” by collaboratively learning and doing as we engage in Radical Collaboration by TEEMIMG Up. Join us in this life affirming journey at ONE World, where your participation can redefine the future.
Radical Hope: The Power of Love
“When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force, which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We envision ONE World as a crucible for experiential learning, where we collectively forge a path from chaos to a world imbued with love. As Dr. Martin Luther King insightfully articulated, love is more than a gentle sentiment; it is a powerful unifier, the key to transcending to a higher reality.
This journey is not solitary; it demands shared concerns, collective action, and an unwavering commitment to love.
We have only the world that we bring forth with others, and it is love that helps bring it forth. Together, we can unravel the spell of division, ushering in an era where compassion and unity illuminate our shared path towards a harmonious and enlightened world. May it be so!
This is the third blog post is a series from Dr. Kurt Johnson and Jon Ramer.