I am recently returned from a series of transformational gatherings in New Zealand, where I had the privilege and joy of dreaming, playing and planning with a bunch of world-wide change-makers. All different ages, and from a huge range of spectrums, we collided for 5 days. Among us were space scientists, technology activists, Singularity University teachers, radical self-love and intersectionality poets, consciousness gurus, farm innovators, food innovators, alternative education specialists, organisational innovators... the list goes on.
Over the 5 days, a new space beyond the ordinary mechanics of bringing a group of people together began to emerge. People would start to finish each others' sentences -- and beyond that, speak to each others' thoughts before anyone had even spoken. In circles, I felt a great ease noticing thoughts or realisations bubble up in my mind, only to have someone else do the sharing for me! Ideas of new collaborations and projects were coming to people, as if from the land. The collective intelligence of the group began to emerge, and with that, the self-organising, swarming, stigmergy behaviour that is associated with it. It was remarkable.
I'm very aware of what a huge privilege it is to be able to have the time, funds, and just general - privilege - to be attending such events on the other side of the world. It makes it feel even more imperative that the time is spent wisely, and productively, while also leaving time to just "be" and allow whatever needs to emerge between us to do so. And also has a certain responsibility that comes with it to think: how do we best serve the greater whole by our gathering together like this?
Apart from the inspiration we all received from spending time amongst other dreamers, story-weavers, innovators and doers (and on a piece of land that has magical qualities of its own), I got to experience something I haven't felt renewed in a while -- the relationship and space that forms between two or more of you, when you share a vision and see each other (truly 'see' each other) in your abilities and commitment to work towards achieving it. It's a flavour of love that I'd like to find the word for. A platonic but electric love for the possibility you hold between you.
And it's also more than that. It's a totally different kind of commitment to each other, and each other's personal growth and transformation. Because you each know that your collective ability to act and deliver on that vision and work depends on all of your potential to be the best version of yourselves. It's a commitment to building each other up, and unlocking the potential in the parts and the whole.
As I sat down to write today, I was directed by a few clues to the website of the Co-Intelligence Institute, where I found this recurring quotation by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
"There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfilment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe."
This certainly comes close to describing the communion I spoke of... and touches on a large part. But some of it is also seeing the possibility of what is possible in the eyes of the other, and the feeling of commitment to do the work.
It's tough that many of us are flung around the globe... But I have a feeling we'll meet soon again, and by training that 'recognition' muscle, I am already noticing the quality of my relationships, both new and old, as I recognise what is possible in that person's evolution, our evolution together, and the evolution of the collective human race.