I woke up.

I was awake.

Ilaria and I were discussing a visualization of an awakening.

Now, I am listening to Michael Gungor in conversation with Fred. The episode is entitled, “Fredness.”

Then, I was thinking about identity. Everything begins with an awareness of our identity as something different than that original sense of separation that we experienced at birth. My origins were in two bodies: a sperm from my father and an egg from my mother. Those two biological organisms created another organism when those two cells merged into a single entity. That embryo formed an attachment to the uterine wall of my mother through an umbilical cord. I was one with my mother for nine months, circulating blood and absorbing oxygen and nutrients through her life-support systems. Then, I was born through intense labour and contractions that expelled me from my mother’s womb. The umbilical cord was cut, and I became an independent organism, a biological holobiont, with an individual, personal identity, but in relationship with my family, a mother and a father.

This is from my very first new born photoshoot. I still love the intensity of this little girls beautiful look.
Photo by Sabine van Straaten / Unsplash

Since then, I have lived fifty-two years. I am waking up to a feeling that I haven’t had very often over those years. It is a sense of connection.

I was filling out some answers to some questions about what I want to accomplish and why my aspirations should be funded by the Living Systems Art + Design Collaboratory. There is a section of the Airtable form that has the heading, “Attachments.” I saw the word while listening to Michael Gungor speaking with Fred about identity, aspirations, addiction, searching, Zen Buddhism, and awakening. Michael just wrote a book about “This.” This present awareness, consciousness, is all there is. The theme of Michael’s work is about letting go of attachments. Yesterday morning, I was in conversation with Rūta Danyte and Mark Wagnon to discuss the spectrum of consciousness, conscious linguistics, the two-loop theory of organizational transformation, and universal values.

I am awakening to questions about identity, values, aspirations, and intentions about the kind of world that I want to build, starting with the questions,

  • Who am I?
  • What am I looking for?
  • What would I do if I found it?

I have been working to build connections because I had lost connection with myself, with my family, with my group, with my community, with my society, and with the living environment, the Earth, and Universe.

Now that I am making all of these connections, what do I do with them? I am reconnecting, but I haven’t yet discovered my purpose, except through others reflecting back to me that the work that I have done has value to them. The value is not monetary, because, at its core, it is questioning the dominant value systems.

I was thinking of the metaphor of extracting value by mining it from the Earth. Large corporate monopolies have colonized our minds through the technologies that empower us and disempower us at the same time. They are mining value from us through surveillance capitalism and the attention economy.

How do we disrupt these systems? Do we disconnect and disengage? Do we drop out and tune in?

My attention has been tuned toward a search to discover how I might make the most of the time, energy, and resources that I have had the privilege to experience through this life. Most of my life has been spent, so the urgency is increasing to discover meaning, purpose, and belonging.

At a time when people are grieving the loss of loved ones and anxious about losing anything more, the attachments that we have made through life are at the core of our existence as human beings. Yet, these voices that I am hearing through the wi-fi connection, the data processed by this technological device, transmitted through wires leading to speakers in my ears are conveying the message to let go of those attachments. By letting go, what is left?

A stream of consciousness.

Then, they started talking about tea. I thought of my new friend, Marieam. She is building a tea house.

Telegram notified me of a message from Marieam: “✨You guys are the coolest. ✨”

What’s next? To follow the stream, to join the river, to meet the ocean.

Notes from the Living Systems Art + Design Collaboratory info session, Thursday, October 8, 2020.