This article is dedicated to the national Birthing Center (BC) of MISSION. For many years now it has been the crucible for some of the most amazing conversations I have ever had. And these conversations have created what we now call MISSION 2.0. It has also inspired colleagues in different parts of the country to birth initiatives, large and small, in service of our country and the world. Thank you for your commitment to our collective journey.
True Conversations: The Antidote to Manipulative Mating
It is difficult to be a woman today. One has to navigate the minefield of predominantly Mach traps, all with one obsessive goal in mind, getting women into bed. Occasionally there are noble and morally upright men out there but they are far and few in between. Fortunately, Machs, there is a powerful antidote to this addiction: true conversation. Are you ready for it? Do you really want to free yourself from your addiction and truly engage women at a totally different and more dignified level?
Last year, I was with Orland Bishop, a dear Afro-American male friend, whom I respect and admire deeply. He is a master of meaningful and purposeful conversations. He is an icon of hundreds of young people all over the world. He has mentored and helped hundreds of young adults through meaningful conversations. We were doing a workshop together in Europe. The organizers, predominantly young men and women, chose the theme, “Relationships”. And they asked Orland and I to facilitate the process of collectively addressing this theme. After we both gave our perspectives based on questions of the participants, we encouraged the young men and women to break up into smaller groups and have a conversation on a specific aspect of the theme that emerged.
In one of these breakout sessions, Orland and I then had our own conversation. And we shared our experiences regarding relationships with women. It was a long, fascinating and unusual conversation we both had. Even though we did not cover the depths of this theme, several things stood out. First, women long to be truly listened to and understood, for who they really are, in their deepest self and aspirations. Second, the key to amazing relationships is genuine conversation, usually triggered by a burning question. Third, active listening fuels trusting and respectful conversation. And when both happen, something unusual unfolds. What happens next is so unusual and often beyond words that it is difficult to describe. But I must attempt to describe it to get a feel of why the libido of Machs will be totally silenced when (and if) they enter this state of conversation.
Reaching the Altered State of Consciousness
When genuine mutual listening and conversation gain momentum, both parties of the conversation then enter into an altered state of consciousness. There are many names for the heightened state of consciousness or peak spiritual experience. Both Orland and I decided to simply describe this new state of attention and awareness as “superconscious”, to distinguish it from ordinary day-to-day consciousness and the dark workings of the subsconscious where libido often resides and presides.
Kindly note the term, “altered state of consciousness” because that is what really happens. The “superconscious” is a form of consciousness where the sense of duality and separation among parties to the conversation disappears. And, by the way, this can also happen in large group settings. I once co-facilitated one global conference where more than 300 people entered into the superconscious. Even if this happened for only for a few minutes, that was more than enough to shift the whole conference into a totally different direction.
Continuing, both parties of the conversation enter into a participatory mode of consciousness where one is in total communion and is in sync with what the other person is saying and thinking. It is also a state of consciousness where the freedom and dignity of the other person is totally respected. In the superconscious, differences in identity are deeply appreciated as the different identities, being unique portals to the same Reality, enrich one’s understanding of Life. Often one already knows what the other person will say because one’s own consciousness is already embedded in the field of consciousness of the other person. And there is deep understanding about the meaning of what the other person is saying. “I am You” becomes true for both parties to this kind of superconscious conversation.
When one’s superconscious is active, then our ordinary notions of space and time disappear. It may be a phone conversation but the individuals involved will sense this. The other is also inhabiting the same inner space as one does. Time stands still. But, often, hours of ordinary time have already passed. And in the sense of the superconscious, the past, present, and future are all co-existing at the same time.
This is also the reason why one is able to access an emerging future or potential even before it appears in the horizon of one’s ordinary consciousness. And the superconscious experience is often accompanied by a continuous flow of amazing ideas and inspirations, making one see connections in the other and in the world, connections that are often invisible to the eye of ordinary consciousness. One experiences a surge of vitality and energy, giving a sense that difficult tasks are doable and indeed they are. Furthermore, one experiences a sense of deep healing, and, most of all, a feeling of deep peace and bliss. And this does not exhaust a description of what happens when we awaken our Superconscious Self in moments of genuine, trusting, respectful, truthful, and honest conversation.
And the net result is a feeling of deep trust and understanding of and for each other’s highest intentions. During moments like these, any sense of lust or libido is totally out of the question. We have entered a co-created sacred space where lust will only be experienced as something that pollutes the sanctity of the moment.
Please note, guys, I am not advocating for massive celibacy among the world’s married male population. After all there is an appropriate place for physical intimacy within the larger context of deep respect and real love for your partner. It would be awesome if your existing relationships or marriages could go beyond libido to enter this new territory of the Real Human, your real Spiritual Self. While difficult, due to reasons connected with our inherited genetic and neural machinery, it is certainly possible.
Scholars in this field call this generative or creative dialogue. Even Einstein’s protégé, the world famous David Bohm, developed a whole (albeit small book) on dialogue from the perspective of quantum physics. And he obviously has entered into superconscious states of awareness to be able to write the kind of book that he has written.
There is one important caveat though. The duration and sustainability of this experience depends on the inner condition and stability of one’s personal self. For after all, it is our Superconscious Self or Real Self that experiences this generative dialogue, not our personal self. So when the ordinary consciousness of our personal self reappears, especially with its fears, concerns and limitations, it will drive away the balm and the after glow of our superconscious experience. It would be ideal if the Superconscious Self has found a way to mold its personal self so that the latter will also be able to sustain this experience as the latter goes about executing its day-to-day responsibilities.
The Larger Social Message
There is a larger social message here. Genuine conversations and generative dialogue have a larger societal objective. Friendships, relationships, and other kinds of being together are the bedrock of social life. Without trusting and respectful working partnerships, relationships or friendships, society will be in disarray. Take the case of the massive corruption, the pork barrel scandal, besetting Philippine society at the moment.
There is a fundamental flaw in the relationship between the leaders of this nation and the governed. Cheating and lying are rampant. Mach is very much well and alive in the scheming and dealing of high government officials, business leaders, and even civil society advocates. This is also the reason why those who have realized the importance of conversation to heal and nurture the fabric of Philippine society have formed a national/global movement to achieve lasting societal transformation on the basis of inner change, and both fueled by genuine, trusting, respectful conversation.
This movement is called MISSION or the Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Through Initiatives Organizing and Networking. The word “Imaginal” is a shortcut way of referring to our Superconscious Self that can envision and create a totally different Self and Society. MISSION is currently prototyping what it calls, “solution ecosystems” in a town and a city in the Visayas. The elected leaders of both, in partnership with civil society and business, are attempting to transform their respective local government units into a sustainable town and city. MISSION recently organized a national conference called Liwanag 2014 with a focus on creating solution ecosystems in areas devastated by natural disasters.
At the heart of solution ecosystems is trustful conversations between the key stakeholders of civil society, business, and government, gathered around specific challenges that a town or city is facing. Together these key institutions constitute the “ecosystem” that is converging point for these institutions to solve tough systemic problems that cannot be solved on a piecemeal or sectoral basis.
This understanding is not unique with MISSION. It is cropping up in mainstream places around the world. More and more individuals are beginning to realize that the systemic problems of our institutions and societies cannot be built on the basis of command-and-control conversations and other Mach-like maneuvers so prevalent in the world today. Silicon Valley, in its positive aspect, is one of these mainstream places. It recognizes the central role that trusting relationships play in creating the economic miracle and powerhouse we now call today as Silicon Valley. If it were an independent nation, Silicon Valley would be the 8th largest economy in the world.
Victor Hwang, an astute observer of the amazing dynamism of Silicon Valley, calls this area of California the “rainforest”. It is an ecosystem of innovations. It generates new technologies with stunning speed and impact. And despite its scientific and technological pre-eminence, Victor writes that the secret of Silicon Valley, in the end, is about the creation, mobilization, and maintenance of trusting and respectful relationships among all the key stakeholders of Silicon Valley.
Victor Hwang, in his book, “The Rainforest: The Secret of Building The Next Silicon Valley”, borrows a term from the late Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, Ronald Coase. The latter invented the term “transaction cost” to describe the dynamics of relationships within corporations and economies. Societies have “high transaction cost” if relationships are not based on trust and mutualism. Then certain things become impossible because key stakeholders do not trust each other. “Low or zero transaction cost” corporations, economies and societies are those which have trusting relationships among its key stakeholders.
And as we have already seen above, the key to achieving low or zero transaction costs, and activating all the benefits to society that can come from that, is conversation. True, authentic, empathetic, honest conversations are the lifeblood of living and vital friendships and relationships and other ways of being together. And when done in a societal scale, it will mean the liberation of a country from mediocrity, poverty, and corruption.
I would like to end with a question. If conversation is the game changer in relationships and societies of all kinds, why is it that true conversations have such an impact? Orland shared with me a very important word coming from his culture. That word is “Sawubona”, which means, “We see you”. This is not about a simple physical seeing. It is “seeing” at a very deep level. It is seeing another at the core of who they really are, in their essence. True seeing empowers and releases profound latent capacities in others that would truly serve the world. In fact, the greatest selling blockbuster movie of all time, “Avatar”, also borrowed this concept of Sawubona to great effect in the most important part of the movie. Orland describes Sawubona as follows. It is “an invitation to a deep witnessing and presence. This greeting forms an agreement to affirm and investigate the mutual potential and obligation that is present in a given moment. At its deepest level . . . this ‘seeing’ is essential to human freedom.”
When you really see another person at the level of their true essence, then you both enter a world of deep mutual understanding, trust, and communion. This real seeing is the trigger for both to enter into the superconscious state of generative or creative conversation. And, Machs, that is the conversation that will not only change how you relate with your women friends. That is also the kind of conversation that will change the world.
Superconscious Conversations: Be fruitful and multiply! And, together we will change our world, one great conversation at a time and/or together!