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« Marginal Zones and Third Places | Main | Evangelism is Dead, Long Live Conversationalists »

Aug 31, 2004

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Tom Atlee

The Zanders' WE comes alive in response to life -- people responding to each other as they collectively respond to the situations of life. That response can be musically static, as in resonance; or it can be musically lyrical as in melodies, or it can be musically simultaneous, as in harmony. It feeds back on itself. The choirs and meditators chanting with resonant harmonies create a Music which lifts them into itself, as does the WE with us all, when we take the time and attention to meet each other in this way. Life situations -- Twin Towers, hurricanes, inspiring social visions -- can call us into that WE-responsive, self-amplifying feedback loop.

Few people have experienced the kind of dialogue and collective reflection that can generate a powerful WE in a group or community. What encourages me is that WITNESSING such dialogue, or encountering compelling stories from it (see, for example, http://www.co-intelligence.org/S-Canadaadvrsariesdream.html ) can create resonance within the witness, who then "tastes" the WE experience. A fascinating example of this in a community meeting is described in a video at http://www.rvwc.org . This means that a well done, well publicized dialogue in a microcosm small group can be used to stimulate the emergence of a WE in a whole community or country -- especially if done iteratively over time.

This means that WE-ness in a political sense -- We the People -- can be midwifed, birthed and raised to maturity through the wise design of certain democratic innovations and (dare I say it) institutions of a new sort (e.g., http://co-intelligence.org/CDCUsesAndPotency.html ). As noted in the Tao of Extreme Democracy wiki http://www.wiki-thataway.org/index.php?page=ElectronicDemocracy , I expect that breakthroughs in this await our weaving of (at least) electronic and deliberative forms of democracy into a coherent WE-uplifting system that generates and distributes the collective intelligence and wisdom we need to make it through the 21st century.

Travis

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Beyond Cluetrain Conversation: The WE Story - Crossroads Dispatches

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