I tend to go along with the idea of an expanding universe; I don’t have an Omega. I don’t think there’s a final end point; I think it’s a song that goes on singing. We don’t sing the song in order to come to the end of it. The divine Self-expression isn’t trying to complete itself. We impose that idea because we generally do things with some kind of a defined goal, but here we’re doing something with the Infinite, and so it doesn’t have a limited or defined goal for itself. It’s trying to express the Infinite in the various media of finitude. I would say that life attains its goal—it becomes what it is supposed to be, fulfills itself—precisely by never coming to an end. If it ever did come to an end in which there was no more novelty, there would be no more life; it would be dead.
– Beatrice Bruteau
The Circle of Presence gave us insights and a methodology for collectively reaching a place where we all are present and can start to live from collective wisdom. A Circle of Creation is built on the assumption that speaking, acting and living from stillness, as participants in collectives, is an acquired skill and that we are ready to jump even deeper and wider. This will make our circles, gatherings and teams ready for a deeper emergence that is in service of and in resonance with more of the world and the Earth around us. It is a search to live constantly in the emergent and come together to full generativity.
The difference between a Circle of Presence – where we learn how to become really present together, so that we are ready to presence more of the present potential – and a Circle of Creation is, well… about creating and being fully generative in a collective way. I remember being in the gathering at Hazelwood House – the first international gathering that I was part of, in September 2005 – and asking myself about this difference: Do we feel a need to change (something that is already here)? Or: Do we feel a need to co-create (something totally new)?
It is clear by now, that we understand creation here as an artistic and collective expression where really something new comes forward, where you all feel really alive in the process. To me, I think that’s what we, as humans, are actually looking for and we can use this quality of experience as hallmark or benchmark to gauge how we are doing.
A Circle of Creation is a deepening of what is possible in the inter-subjective space, the We-space, but also fully Here and fully Now. It is a new human capacity that hasn’t been possible before because it integrates full individuality and authenticity with a collective calling and purpose. This is uncharted terrain. In a way, we try to connect the deep individuation that is so typical for Western society nowadays with the subtler community and connection levels of indigenous societies; or as it can be recognised in mysticism.
You will notice in this map that we build on the movements described in the first map, both vertical and horizontal. The process of unfolding authenticity, integrating more and more subtle information, jumps to an unfolding generativity. The movement of widening balance, becomes a widening coherence, as our awareness of interweaving and interpenetration grows.
In a Circle of Creation, we are no longer limited to the space of conversation or the space of a group’s meeting. Continually expanding in all dimensions, we see that conversations among humans are ‘too small’. We are expanding our awareness into nature and Earth itself, into the history of the land and the people, into the future and into more subtle levels all around. It also includes a deeper alignment with space and time. We will have noticed along the way that we have had to give up many good intentions and ideas because they didn’t seem to be aligned, expressed in (not) right place and (not) right timing. This is what we call the We-in-Now and We-in-Here. From this total collective presence, now and here, we can live more of the present potential with qualities of radical amazement and joy, living – collectively conscious – generativity all around.
We have come to the end of our last chapter, where our focus has been on describing what full generativity might be and might look like. It is clear from our descriptions that it requires a collective-conscious intimacy with all of life. I really mean: all of life. The wild, the exotic, the magic, the subtle, the alluring included. We have spent enough time noting that our collective witnessing capacity needs to expand to hold collective pain and trauma, to make sure that these so-called ‘positive qualities’ are not a denial of the so-called ‘other side’. On the contrary, it is our ability to hold intensity – including the big historical and cultural traumas – that allows us to hold ever more life-affirming energies.
Observing what is in We-Now-Here and Potential
As I write this it is mid-August. Still quiet summer time for me, but my attention is beginning to shift towards what the next working year will hold. With our 4-person small business-in-formation, we have also been wondering what kind of workshops we will offer next year. Strangely, I have not had many ideas so far – just one. But sitting in a circle (online) this week, as the conversation unfolded, one person offered some ideas , which then triggered in me connections to new names of people to work with. The next day, I reached out to one of those new names, she responded with enthusiasm, and we arranged to talk the following week. That, for me, is living in the soup of life. You don’t have a clue, but you trust life and its unfolding – you trust, too, your team with its collective intelligence, wisdom and sensing – and suddenly something appealing just appears. The one small idea I that did have seems to be unfolding in a good direction and a conversation is planned. Of course, we will need some longer-term planning as we nail down the organisation, but for now we are happy to muddle along in this soup, taking it one step at a time. We have opened our minds to the notion that this soup will nourish us, as long as we are present to ourselves, to our collective field, and to the responses from life all around us. We don’t need to cling on to strict planning as we would if we didn’t trust what life will bring. Our intention is clear, and we hold our minds open for what will unfold.
Accepting what is in We-Now-Here and Potential
Accepting what is in We-Now-Here and Potential implies a deeply embodied understanding that we need to bring our authentic capacities together in a collectively conscious way, otherwise any potential that we might sense will not be realized. Coming back to our small business start-up, some time ago we realized that, although we each have our own business, we cannot fully realise whatever is in our midst by remaining separate units. Accepting this requires taking many steps – including many administrative ones (not my favorite pastime). But we do accept that, and act accordingly.
In another team where we use Collective Presencing as our basic practice, we have accepted that there is a potential that we all resonate with and feel called by, but so far the time and place have not been right to bring it into any manifest form. We invited and invoked our shared inquiry, but so far it hasn’t gelled and so we accept to remain in the sensing phase, holding the not-knowing-yet.
Honouring what is in We-Now-Here and Potential
In a next phase – and again, not in any linear way – where you collectively deeply honour that you are in service of a potential – the process of unfolding moves from the more frustrated feeling of is-this-going-to-become-anything-at-all? to a sense of being in love with the collective potential, where we looking out for what can happen if we keep our senses open, collectively. Our attention is geared towards: what is hidden in the gift that we are receiving from life? We do not rush in and tear off the wrapping paper, but we calmly we untie the knots, of which sometimes there are many.
Honouring here means seeing our efforts not as a struggle with the knots in the ribbon, or with the wrapping paper, but as engaging in a continuous and collective piece of action research, learning with every step.
Living what is in We-Now-Here and Potential
If we honour the continuous collective inquiry, if we accept that we are in the service of a collective potential, and are open and ready to live and work in the soup of life, then our lives and our projects will always be in the process of becoming; always creative, always generating more life-affirming action. It is amazing to have almost daily feelings of gratitude that give you a soft heart: for yourself, for your colleagues, and for what you see happening in the world – even that is sometimes quite ugly. It is amazing that the gratitude is not only for the major breakthroughs or sudden insights, but also for the daily chores – like when you find someone has already done the dishes, helpfully cleared something away or attended to some small detail – and ‘everyday’ experiences, like noticing the flowers along the road, seeing the clouds passing overhead, and so much more. Work flows easily, insights come frequently and in their right timing when we are engaged in a team like this. The practice of Collective Presencing gives you all this, and more!