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Collective Emergence: A New Possibility

posted 7 Mar 2017, 17:25 by Peter Harney   [ updated 7 Mar 2017, 18:48 ]
Over 30 people gathered at The Archer March 4th to participate in a workshop experience facilitated by Gail Worcelo from Green Mountain Monastery Vermont USA and Margaret Kehoe from Lima Peru where she is involved in two centres offering teachings and natural healing.  Both women are working with the wider earth community to engage with the collective emergence of new possibilities for our time. 


The Universe has proceeded through a series of creative unions! Atoms unite to form molecules, molecules unite to form cells and so the story goes. Each new union brings forth greater possibilities and more depth of being. The French Jesuit and Paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin predicted that the next creative union would be us, the human community! Creative union happens when we come together in new ways, beyond separation. During our day together, through guided practices, input and the sharing of a series of visual paintings we created a space together where something new broke forth.

We began the day exploring the life cycle of the cicadas.  The cicadas live for 17 years in the warm dark of mother earth before emerging to climb into the trees where they give birth to the next generation.  They only live for another 6 weeks but their progeny birth and quickly fall to earth to find their new dark home. The cicadas have no defence mechanism so they emerge in their hundreds of thousands and sing their high pitched song to protect themselves from predators.  So within this metaphor of the collective awareness of the cicadas we entered our day.

Teilhard de Chardin provided us with a way into this emerging phenomenon of complex collective consciousness.   In his prologue to The Human Phenomenon he provided 4 qualities constitutive of the resonant field in which we move and have our being – Cosmogenesis, Convergence, Complex Consciousness and Christ and Omega.  Gail and Marg called these the ‘4 Cs’. 

Cosmogenesis refers to the ongoing creative evolutionary emergence of the Universe that is birthing new life and energy at every moment of the space/time continuum.  As humans have the capacity to reflect on this dynamic process we actively engage in the evolutionary process by attending to the quality of our relationships, awareness, intuition and understandings.   The group was asked to share responses to the questions:
What is emerging in me now?  What are you experiencing now?

Convergence, Teilhard says, is a geophysical fact because we live on a curved planet.  Everything eventually meets or converges.  We expand naturally to fill the limits of the curve.  We can fall back on ourselves, unite and birth something new.  However like the particles that constitute the cosmos we are separate and generally resist attractive forces.  Yet to grow to full human maturity we need to respond to attractions and be open to the influence of others.  We do not lose our individuality by coming together but accentuate our individuality.   This is done through relating ‘centre to centre’ or ‘person to person.’  We come close enough to experience the collective energy of union but separate enough to allow emergence to happen.  There is creative union in the process of emergence.  Hydrogen and oxygen engage to form a new substance Water (H2O).  Questions explored were:
What are the qualities of connecting centre to centre?
What prevents you from going into heart to heart connections?

Complex Consciousness is the tendency of matter to become more complex over time.  The higher the degree of structure in a system the more consciousness it exhibits. The degree of internal differentiation measures the complexity of matter e.g. stars are large but have a reasonably simple structure and do not exhibit as much complexity as the human person. The richer the construction the more highly developed the consciousness. Teilhard used the metaphor of a tapestry.  A multi-dimensional image evolves with threads moving in and out of each other.  The tapestry gradually complexifies over time as it becomes more unified. The greater the union the more capacity there is for differentiation and this is done through coming together centre to centre. This process facilitates collective emergence birthing new possibilities.  It is how newness emerges as the complex strands both hold myriad patterns yet keep their flexibility allowing difference and unpredictability to be inherent to the movement towards maturity.   As elements come together old patterns are re-patterned and new levels of relationships emerge.  At each phase of deepening consciousness freedom, love and spontaneity are integral to convergence and emergence. It is a via collectiva where the earth community plunges into the mystery of the now and is open to the mutual awakening of the divine within.
Questions:  How can we plunge into the space between us?  How can we go beyond the known? How do we take flight?  How do we discover the space between?  What is your experience of diving in?
Gail and Marg have invited a group of 40 women around the planet who meet regularly using Skype/Zoom to share their awakening awareness and consciousness one on one and as a community.  It is about being open to the continual blooming of the human spirit when there is a subtle pressure to evolve.  Gail and Marg also shared paintings they created through sitting opposite each other and sharing the artist’s canvas.  This gave birth to creative activity: plunging in, going beyond, taking flight and attending to the space between.

Christ Omega is the awareness that Teilhard had of the creative order of the cosmos.  There was not only had creativity and spontaneity at its heart but also directionality.  There was a sense that love which was the deepest creative energy of the cosmos was inviting movement towards an end which was the Christ or the oneness in the mystery.  The universe was not a random series of events but chaotic order which forever is evolving around attractors into elegant patterns of creativity and beauty.  Life, death and re-birth is the life cycle of the cicadas and the life cycle of the entire cosmos.  Stars die and are born again, as are trees, flowers, mammals and birds.  We live in a cosmogenic universe that is forever evolving into more complex consciousness.

Gail Worcelo and Margaret Kehoe leaders in workshop

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