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‘Britishness’ at the Regent’s College Summit

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Down in a basement meeting room of the Holiday Inn Oxford Circus…that’s where the Centre for Human Emergence – UK (CHE-UK) was born on the afternoon of Friday 26 July 2009. Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck, Jon Freeman (author of ‘God’s Ecology and the Dawkins Challenge’), Rachel Castagne, Lynne Sedgemore CBE,  Ian MacDonald of the Integral Life Centre,  the veteran activist and author Rosemary Wilkie and myself harmonising an intent – creating a spirit, if you will.  That intent is to build MeshWORK alliances to design natural solutions to local problems in the context of a globalised world.

The next 2 days, Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th, saw CHE-UK host its first event, ‘A Regent’s Summit on the Future of the UK’ at Regent’s College. Don, Rachel and Jon led the event and old HemsMESH colleague Christopher ‘Cookie’ Cooke flew in from Switzerland to lend his talents to a task-and-feedback session on the Sunday.  About 50 people joined us to get a feel for what the real issues are confronting the UK and what we might do about them.

The general consensus was that in the UK a lot of the positive influence of the BLUE vMEME has been diminished by the emergence of GREEN (a not-uncommon pattern in much of North America and Western Europe).  This weakening of BLUE has had a number of negative effects – ones especially noted were:-

  • the lack of discipline in our culture, particularly amongst young people – resulting in RED excesses such as binge drinking and violent rowdiness on our city centre streets at weekends
  • the collapse of effective regulation in our financial markets, resulting in toxic ORANGE taking the kind of foolish gambles on debt and investment which have brought the banking systems to their knees
  • the RED, thoughtless greed of many politicians milking the expenses system to and beyond its limits – with some clearly having committed fraud

The ‘expenses scandal’, it was generally agreed, served as the tipping point for so much anger amongst the general population that has been building up, suppressed and simmering, for so long.  The occupants of the ‘Mother of Parliaments’, the cradle of modern Democracy, are now perceived far and wide to be ‘on the take’ just like the officials of those corrupt regimes our government used to be so fond of criticising.  That only about a third of MPs have been exposed in this way and the actual sums involved are piddling in the grand scheme of things –  eg: National Debt estimated at £1.3 trillion!! – are beside the point.  As a kingdom, we are humiliated and in one hell of a mess.

As Lynne commented, people are now genuinely outraged.

A deeper malaise?
There was a recognition that there was a lot of variation in just how far the recession was affecting people in different parts of the country. Ali Gibson made the point that in leafy Buckinghamshire £200-£300 on a new handbag was still a ‘normal’ purchase while in a neighbouring health authority hospital waiting times were way below national targets due in part at least to lack of funding.

As a northerner I was keen to stress the ‘disappearance’ of much the traditional male working classes in the north of England, South Wales and the Scottish Lowlands and the effect on the health of PURPLE and RED that was having in their communities. For many in those classes, the recession began in the 1980s and has continued more or less since. (See my previous Blog, The Thatcherite Era is ended. Whither Britain?, for more on that.)

But, interestingly, in our discussion groups the sense of an even deeper malaise began to emerge as we talked about what it mean to be British…the nature of the British identity. The source of that malaise, it was felt, was the loss of Empire. Britain through the 16th-19th Centuries was an invader and a conqueror. With our Empire eventually stretching over a third of the habitable globe, much of the world’s story in that time was our story. There was belief in ourselves and the religions we espoused – all those Christian missionaries! – which fed a stream of great innovations, from the road building of Thomas Telford to George Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ to the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin to the medical breakthroughs of Joseph Lister and Edward Jenner to the astounding engineering feats of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A sense of: “We are British. We can do.”

As a trained historian very aware of the horrors of colonialism – knowing that many of the conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa are rooted in the European boundaries which cut right through tribal territories and made artificial nations of unwilling tribal slices mixed with unwilling tribal slices – I found the thought that there could be any good in ‘Empire’ initially quite a challenge to my GREEN.

However, as Don pointed out, the rights and wrongs of what the colonialists did, in the context of our current discussion, were only relevant in that GREEN was still castigating us for the evils done. The question, then, is: does this castigation actually obscure the damage to our RED pride and BLUE nationalism by the loss of Empire…?

Add to that the fact that the once-mighty conquerors are increasingly looked upon as a liability by our military allies. Our army, having relied on American air support in Helmund province and still being unable to suppress the Taliban, American troops are now flooding in to do the job we can’t.

Discussion then raised the issue that, as an island nation, not invaded since 1066, do the recent waves of immigration constitute an invasion of sorts? Thus, the mighty invaders and creators of ‘Empire’ are now themselves diminished and invaded. For me, this was all a series of challenges that became ‘ah-ha moments’. I had previously tended to see racism and ethnic hatred as simply PURPLE’s rejection of those ‘not our tribe’ – especially when security (jobs) are threatened. But, for the British at least, is there also an element of invasion and loss of national pride involved?

What made these discussions particularly astonishing were that there were people in the room from the former Empire – Asians, West Indians, etc – whose grandparents and great-grandparents would have been subjects of British rule and its many indignities. But nobody got upset. Nobody got overly-emotional. Nobody wanted to decry the Empire and rake over the ‘evil coals’. Everybody was completely focussed on the collective character of the British psyche, where it was now and why and what needed to be done to lead that British character to a new place.

These were truly 2nd Tier discussions that transcended personality and history. Truly, truly astonishing!

Of course, not everyone there was well-versed in Spiral Dynamics. But a couple of brief-but-potent presentations from Don gave everyone enough of a flavour to contribute to the discussions. Another pleasure of the weekend for me was seeing so many people get turned on to the power of the Spiral Dynamics model to explain human motivation.

Hope from the mess
In discussing the nature of the British character, we also identified many positives. We are and remain:-

  • Leaders in many, many ways
  • Great innovators
  • Quirky and eccentric – often precursors to innovation
  • Resilient and supportive of each other in face of external threat – eg: the ‘Blitz Spirit’ being rediscovered in the aftermath of the 2005 terrorist bombs in London. (See Dave Lowe’s comment on the Blog Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber) Under pressure, the identity of the tribe expands to include all on our side.
  •  Humour-full – we can usually see the humour and irony in most things and we don’t usually take ourselves too seriously
  • At the centre of the world, a bridge between Europe, America and the Commonwealth

These exercises  gave us the sense that there is still much Britain has to give the world; but, to do that, we have to sort out our current problems and believe in ourselves again. As Rosemary put it: “We have had a great story. Now we need a new great story.”

We need strong RED proud in the BLUE frame of responsibly  ‘doing your duty’ as just the start of creating that new story.

But our new story has no place for the prejudices, discriminations and abuses that have sometimes sullied our past. One of the most interesting tales of the weekend was one with which Rachel effectively closed the summit. She had been to a folk festival recently. One of the performers, the traditional singing legend June Tabor, had asked the audience what it meant to be English. After some repartee and banter, Tabor answered her own question: “If you love this land, then you’re English.”

Of course, there is no single homogenous English identity. And there certainly isn’t a British one – just ask the Scots, Welsh and Irish! But there is a sense of being English…and there is a sense of being British, whichever of our 4 constituent countries you come from. And, using Tabor’s definition, if you’ve just arrived in this kingdom for the first time but you love this land, then you’re one of us.

At the end of the 2 days, we hadn’t come up with magic solutions. We didn’t have an agenda to present to Government. Those things will come in time; but we had made a start on serious work.

And there were a lot more of us at 5 PM Sunday than there were at 5 PM Friday. Welcome. Juliana. Welcome, Denise. Welcome, James. Welcome, Jon (Twigge). Welcome, Willa. Welcome, Ali. Welcome, Faheed. Welcome, Richard. Welcome, Sherrif. Welcome, Carragh. Welcome, Dave. Welcome, Julian. Welcome, Laura. Welcome, Eileen. Welcome, Shaun. And so on…and so on…and so on…and so on…..

There will be 4 more summits to follow on from this weekend and then there is the EuroConfab at Gatwick 23-25 October – the first time the Confab has been held in the UK. If you’ve a mind to understand and a heart that loves this land, then please join us!

[For a more formal description of the founding of CHE-UK, see: ‘From Rule Britannia to Cool Britannia to Integral Britannia’.]

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24 Responses

  1. Don Edward Beck says

    I do appreciate the various comments on the task we have taken on for ourselves, and the various perspectives of those not of the English-British definition. One of the critical issues has to do with how to understand the empires, with often the red in tooth and claw behavioral patterns. In l999 I was deeply involved in the State of the World Forum (the Gorbachev Foundation) and gave a major presentation at the conference in San Francisco. Jim Garrison, who was in charge of both the Foundation and the Forum, commented to me that he thought my view was unique in that I "objectified" history. His word, I guess it is a word officially. In short, he meant that I could step away and, viewing through a memetic lens, make sense out of what was happening even though I had strong feelings about the impact, from exploitation, to domination, to slavery, to other horrible acts that we all are aware of. I was simply attempting to look through the conceptual lenses of the day, to understand how society's actually emerge, and the picture is not always pretty.

    Last week I spent four days in Malibou, California with a group called Evolutionary Leaders (we added Leader-Servants to that title because of obvious sensitivities.) You would recognize the names of the 40-plus people, Deepak, Jean Houston, Greg Braden, Bruce Lipton etc and names of folks that you might not recognize. The purpose was to find new ways to unblock, unlock, and facilitate a better version of emergence than what we experienced in the past. After a day and a half of meandering around the topic I finally had to say something. I simply reported that thus far the conversations were about what WE wanted to do; what books we wanted to write; what videos we wanted to make RATHER than what I insisted we do; namely, discuss what needed to be done. That changed the entire focus of the event, and I even used the example of CHE-UK to demonstrate my point. I will send to all of them the report on the Regents college Summit. Very soon I hope to map out a strategy, working closely with Jon and Rachel, that will delineate with greater precision the actions we will need to take as we move through a series of Summits and other events and conversations. This sort of thing will need to self-organize in one sense, but in another if there is little focused discipline on specific outcomes, then chaos will rule the day and, as often happens, little will be accomplished. I just hope many of you will be able to attend Summit-II in Yorkshire on September 19-20. Rachel and I will be in Santa Barbara, California on September 6-14 with the bi-annual Spiral Dynamics Levels One and Two around the theme of "Natural Designs." I will be here in Texas for the next few weeks. Deepak did ask to meet with Elza Maalouf and I in San Diego during the last part of August he was so impressed with what I was saying. I understand he will be in UK on September 24. I might try to get him here earlier to meet with us in Yorkshire.

    So, the future of Great Britain AND the evolution/emergence of the planet itself are, actually, he same topic. Just as we used Chariots of Fire and Fiddler on the Roof to deal with issues around the Blue memetic expression, and will spend time breaking into racial and ethnic categories and stereotypes to release individuals from the blanket definition, the key to global emergence (the word evolution actually means "to roll out.")can also be measured by out ability to deal with multiple identities, as we transcend but include all in our personal and cultural history, but also transcend and anticipate what will come next. This will be one of the themes in a Summit for sure. We live within flex-flow worlds when at our best.

    Bless you all...

    Don
    Don

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  2. Albert KLamt says

    Keith, speaking about learning lessons from history. Elza Maalouf twtittered a SPIEGEL inteview with Henry Kissinger. Is about Versailles and Obama:

    Obama is like a chess player

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=8010889&page=1

    Elza sees the analysis of Kissinger as second tier analysis and so do I.

    Understanding in depth the "archeological" layers of the consciousness in Commonwealth, the British empire is certainly a big , prodcutive challenge.

    As doing it in similar ways with Germany for last centuries. Iit will then contribute to what is Kissinger calling realpolitik.

    "Cynics treat values as equivalent and instrumental. Statesmen base practical decisions on moral convictions. It is always easy to divide the world into idealists and power-oriented people. The idealists are presumed to be the noble people, and the power-oriented people are the ones that cause all the world's trouble. But I believe more suffering has been caused by prophets than by statesmen. For me, a sensible definition of realpolitik is to say there are objective circumstances without which foreign policy cannot be conducted. To try to deal with the fate of nations without looking at the circumstances with which they have to deal is escapism. The art of good foreign policy is to understand and to take into consideration the values of a society, to realize them at the outer limit of the possible."

    Integral Politics everywhere in the world needs to emerge. Spiral Dynamics Integral seems to be the integral flagship approach to this. Within permanent innovative flexflow to increase internal complexity, emergence and consciousness.

    The British Commonwealth is certainly an utterly complex and evolving chessboard:):)

    Best,

    Albert

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  3. Willa Geertsema says

    As a foreigner living here, it is great to hear the English speak about the Empire! To me, it's such a part of Britain yet no one ever mentions it. Keith you are very right - the French and the Dutch may not have been as successful in conquering the world, but they also had a lot less grace in letting go of their colonies. The Dutch fought a vicious war in Indonesia and it took 50 years for the full truth to be published in the newspapers.

    When reading Rachel's story I thought we should find back this brilliant documentary that Eddy Izzard made some 5 years ago: Mongrul Nation. A very funny but rich tv series on the diversity of Britain's heritage - all done in a truly positive British way. I'll have a look if I can find it somewhere...

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  4. Jon T says

    Uncomfortable with the nasty side of the empite? yes, it was pretty messy. But in a violent world that was probably the only way that it could have happened. And out of that violence came a great common wealth family which in turn gave many people opportunities to thrive.

    Did equal opportunities and PC throw the empire away or was that neccessary?

    Cam we reclaim the empire and common wealth, not for Britain but for all of its citizens in a new model that values all for what they can contribute. It might not be equal opportunities PC but it could be very exciting for a better world.

    Like (1)
  5. keitherice says

    Hi, Albert

    Well, I've got a degree in History. Never used it other than to teach some History...and I haven't done that in several years!!

    Certainly, History is vitally important in understanding who and what you are and why you are culturally and to some extent individually. Many sociologists see History as the most important related discipline...but there's likely a psychologcial dimension too. Back in 2001 Pena d'Ortiz & Yuri Arshavsky produced an interim report on a project in which they were investigating the idea that memory is encoded into an individual's DNA through protein regeneratiion in the brain.

    I've never heard anything more about this project but the concept is fascinating. It might explain things like certain birds having an instinctual recognition of predators the instant they break from the egg to 'race memory' to Jung's idea of the Collective Unconscious. (I read some of Jung's descriptions of the archetypes working in the Collective Unconscious recently and it really was the stuff of PURPLE superstitions!) There's an assumption that feuds and hatreds are passed on through the generations as folklore (PURPLE) - which they undoubtedly are! - but there may well be a BEIGE biological near-instinctual memory component in this as well. Biologically-transmitted, unlanguageable history may be a factor that we somehow have to learn to deal with.

    I suppose, with History, it depends on what lessons are learned from it. France and Germany created what became the EU to prevent another major European war - and, how ever much British politicians decry it, there always some element of federalism in it. Hiroshima was an object lesson to the Americans and the Russians in the Cold War about the reality if it went hot. Supposedly a nuclear strike on Russia was seriously considered at the White House 1947-48 but the they didn't think the American public would cope with the consequent news footage of the devastation, etc, after the reaction when the Hiroshima footage became public.

    We need to learn the lessons of History. Britain, of all countries, should have known, from our previous failures (and the Russians' failure), that you can't win a war in Afghanistan through anything vaguely approachng conventional warfare and/or installing a Western-backed pseudo-Democratic regime.

    But, coming back to your point on the Commonwealth, Albert, I recognise now that I have been poisoned by GREEN's view that the Empire was all about racial abuse, economic exploitation and the superiority of the British over all other nations. These things were undoubtedly true but that's not all there was to it. When, in our Summit discussion group, Rosemary Wilkie and Jon Twigge started extolling the virtues of Empire and identifying the loss of Empire as a deep wound in the British psyche, I really struggled with it. I've seen the photos and I've read the transcripts of many of the horrors that the British inflicted on their 'subjects'; and I can map much of the post-colonial mess in Africa to what the British did - and I'm deeply, deeply ashamed of what my country did. But there is another side to it. Britain did 'civilise' much of the world - railways, schools, industry, the stopping of many barbaric practices (female circumcision, the immolating of living widows in their dead husband's funeral pyre, eventually - after being one of the worst perpetrators! - slavery, etc) - and I recognise I need to become proud of the good bits of Empire. We can't change the bad bits but we can use the good bits.

    And the fact that Britain is a bridge between Europe, North America and the Commonwealth is of vast significance. Much of our focus these days - rightly - goes on Europe and the US - but we shouldn't neglect the Commonwealth. Britain was the only European country to come out of WWII with our Empire intact - if starting to fall apart. This means that, rather than having our colonies ripped from us, we were able to concede sovereignty - for the most part - gracefully to the colonies. And the fact that many Commonwealth countries still get very excited by an occasional vist from the Queen, I think, reflects the relatively harmonious way the Empire mutated into the Commonwealth.

    Without lessening the focus on relations with Europe and the US, maybe Britain needs to dust off and work a bit more on its relations with the Commonwealth...? Thanks for stimulating these thoughts, Albert.

    Best

    Keith

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  6. Albert KLamt says

    Keith,

    will like to learn more from you. Its a great disvovery for that you are a trained historian. History -the word story is in it -is of course full of layers of consciousness too. And the internal complextities of it.

    I just googled "Commonwealth of Nations" and stretched my horizones of imagination again what consequences and profound impact Brtish emergence might have in 10 or 20 years far beyond the anglo-saxon core. As Don says.

    Thanks again for giving this comprehensive report.

    Albert

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  7. Rachel Castagne says

    here is Shahid Maliks quote that Dave referred to above in Lynne's speech:
    "We must not allow a small group of right-wingers to hijack our flag and steal our identity. I believe that patriotism is one of the most effective weapons in combating the religious and BNP type extremism that we know exists."
    "It saddens me that some people are concerned that their pride in being English may be interpreted as being racist, while others want in particular non-white people to feel like they can't truly be English or British. This type of political correctness and bigotry has no place in today's Britain indeed it is detrimental to our very way of life. We should all feel we can proudly embrace Britishness and Englishness without any fear or anxiety."

    "We have a rich heritage in this country and our values have helped to shape the world - our sense of fair play, democracy, the rule of law, the welfare state and our system of rights are things which been copied and exported across the world."

    "I do sometimes think we forget just how privileged we are and take our rights for granted. We must never forget that millions died for our rights and with these rights come responsibilities especially towards one another to be neighbourly and to create a zero tolerance attitude to extremism."

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  8. Albert KLamt says

    As Non Brit, however having been born in North Rhine Westphalia, thats the German country with the biggest population, near NL and UK geografically:):) ,and beeing aligned to the London Integral Circle, i can see the BIG relevance of this theme. And Don is certainly on spot right when he states:

    "So, this effort is about more than just the British Isles, the Scottish and Irish Clans, and even the Anglo/Saxon core."

    I simply want to add another British voice I like very much. Its Chris Parish who made some statements some day before the summit at a London Meetup. check it out here:

    http://www.enlightennext.org/membership/index.php?q=node/3309

    Best,

    from Germany,

    Albert

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  9. Rachel Castagne says

    Thank you Keith for the summary of the weekend, a couple of thoughts and impressions I would like to add: I was struck over the course of the weekend at the number of times I heard the word heart refered to, I believe we discovered/felt our collective heart in the silence at the end; the silence for me was important because it allowed us to 'anchor' the energies and passions that had been raised.
    The question of what makes us British? Like Dave, i really valued the perspective of our non UK nationals, this was true at the event on March 14 at the Window also. when I first saw Born Again American I was almost envious that we have nothing similar to cohere around in the UK.
    As a Briton, born in Trinidad to Trinidadian father and an Irish mother, I have spent most of my life on British soil, yet feeling 'not English', in fact growing up on a council estate in North London where I didnt 'fit in' I felt positively alienated, having French, Scottish, British Guyanan and Dutch Surinamese blood running through my veins, I often felt anything but British, my temperament also is more of the latino type than the 'stiff upper lip'... yet i have realised that I love this land, and even if aspects of the culture frustrate me, I finally realised i belong here when on a 6 week visit to Trinidad and Tobago a few years ago, i found myself missing Oak Trees!
    Its a curious thing that one of the characteristics of us Brits seems to be the 'peculiar' lack of value we place on ourselves and what we have to offer...
    so Jon I am delighted that you share that what came to you in the silence was "A New Common Wealth"
    In some ways I see the malaise that we are facing as a collective can be addressed by realising our 'common wealth', we are rich with myth and legend from these ancient lands, and we have certain qualities that we take for granted, we undervalue ourselves, most clearly demonstrated when Anna, our Canadian friend pointed out how many times has she heard a good idea suggested to hear it almost as quickly be taken back, or apologised for..

    So I would like to hone in on the thread of what is our 'Common wealth'? and how can we reclaim it for the common Brit?

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  10. Don Edward Beck says

    I appreciate so much everybody's comments. This is most certainly a group effort as you can tell and even though I am from "the colonies" (although my friends in the Republic of Texas would heartily disagree) I have a certain affection for "the mother land." So, this effort is about more than just the British Isles, the Scottish and Irish Clans, and even the Anglo/Saxon core. It will be a joy to continue to participate in this effort. There is a great deal at stake for all of us.

    Don

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  11. keitherice says

    Thank you, Helen. Thank you, Dave. Thank you to all those who have expressed support for what we are doing with CHE-UK.

    We have quite a job to do...and we need you and your support.

    Best to all

    Keith

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  12. Helen Titchen Beeth says

    I am really happy that this has happened. As a Brit who has lived outside Britain for the past 22 years, I love my country and am rather glad not to be living in it!

    My last visit brought me to Avebury - argued by some to be the energetic umbilicus of the planet - in the company of some of the heart members of the Dutch CHE, including Peter Merry, who is, of course, also English. What other country has Avebury, with its crop circles and other mysteries - its tales of dragons and wizards? You can see some of us here: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_9OIsIBJxRoM/SkqEZS3ZvdI/AAAAAAAAKWU/RoIkXBGuZQ0/s512/DSC05230.JPG

    If I were living in the UK, I would certainly join the CHE UK. As it is - I wish to support you from Brussels, where I trust that my benevolent European perspective can contribute something. You can certainly expect me for the Confab!

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  13. Dave Pendle says

    Keith as you have done the 'fill in' so well on the facts I shall not blog my own summary but just link to yours!!

    This leaves me with the luxury of just adding a few qualitative background comments to your informative structure.

    I was struck to begin with how Don adapted his teaching style to be more inclusive of the group and how he initially surfaced everyone’s thoughts on the current LIFE conditions in the UK. Then how he followed this by highlighting the PRIORITY Codes of each meme system and finally focused on the common BELIEFS and Worldviews of each system over the passage of the two days

    His use of Chariots of Fire film and particularly the scene in the Scottish Church hit me with a tsunami of overwhelming BLUE. When I first watched this film many years ago I would have enjoyed the propriety and Britishness of the characters but would have been glad personally not to been present for the stultifying suffocation of that age.

    What was shocking was that despite that many conventional ritualistic and bureaucratic structures are still present in our social and other institutions, yet the rigour of these blue values has almost been entirely erased from social and personal culture sphere(including mine!)

    Over the two days I found the feedback from non UK nationals very refreshing and the objectivity of their reflection on the positivity of UK or British culture was both useful and uplifting. Because of the peculiar lack of value, I personally place on these positive characteristics, I found I appreciated the foreign perspective more highly than the Brits!!

    On day two I was hugely affected by the statement from the MP read aloud by Lynn Sedgemore. This conveyed so utterly positively, our unique nationalistic qualities and history. The relationship to British identity was resoundingly unequivocal and at the same balanced informed and resolutely as well as pointedly anti extremist. Interestingly the writer’s sense of self was so fused with responsibility and appreciation for British identity that it also contained a clarion call for the need for all Brits to move forward together. I was therefore completely gobsmacked that the piece was written by a British Asian former MP and Justice Minister Shahid Malik. The appreciation of British values was so accurate and unambiguous it made me think that this is the direction from where the reconstruction of British identity might arrive!!

    More to be posted here http://evolutionaryculture.blogspot.com/ on the two day summit.

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  14. Russ Volckmann says

    Thanks to you all for this discussion. This is the kind of information I would like to see more of in the Notes from the Field section of Integral Leadership Review for all of the activities of CHE in various parts of the world and for other integrally-oriented activities.

    I believe the work you are doing is so important.

    Russ

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  15. Jon says

    PS - i would like to share what came to me in the silence at the end - in case it resonates with others.

    "A New Common Wealth"

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  16. Jon says

    Hi Keith,

    good stuff. I am looking forward to the next one.

    jon (t)

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  17. Jon Freeman says

    Keith’s blog summarises the UK event really well, and I thank him for that. I have a few personal perspectives to add.

    There was more reference to mystical and spiritual themes than I have seen before at SD gatherings – echoes of the themes of Blake’s poem “Jerusalem” and of the ancient mythologies of Camelot and Merlin. A feeling of needing to recall a since of an honour code that would contrast with the recent parliamentary scandals. The theme of connection with the land is embedded in that. There are some fundamental values awaiting articulation that the new Britain can cohere around. We do not yet have our equivalent of “Born-Again American”.

    There was also a very strong sense of engagement from many people, and a feeling that after the Friday inauguration meeting that Keith described, there was already a bigger core group forming, with considerable heart and appetite for the tasks ahead. I am very appreciative of that sense of support, and hopeful for the platform it gives us.

    So now we look forward with excitement to the October Euroconfab, and to further events that Don proposes which will take the work of the Summit forward. It is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year.

    My thanks to all who have helped us get this far, and for the feeling of support all around.

    All the best,
    Jon

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  18. keitherice says

    Hi, Alan

    Great to hear from you...and well-argued point.

    Probsbly some in the group did see it as ORANGE in the way you describe. There certainly was talk of RED in this context. I, of course, filter what was said through my schemas. So I'm not claiming 100% accuracy in my commentary.

    I certainly see a strong element of RED in much of the expenses claims. The idea that I can do this - with no ethics and without any real sense of consequences. No anticipation of media exposés or public fury. And I don't care anyway. Just think of how many exposed MPs came off as arrogantt in defending themselves!

    RED can certainly 'stretch up' to understand enough of BLUE's rules to use them, without valuing them for what they are. Particularly if the RED vMEME is starting to exit from its nodal position.

    I would hope that most of our MPS can do ORANGE. (If they are unable to, then that might help explain why the UK is in such a mess!) Those who appear to have pretty much got away with it may have had ORANGE stronger in their selfplex. The ones who now face police investigation, in my view, were clearly lead by RED.

    Does that explain my position...?

    Best

    Keith

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  19. Alan McCrindle says

    I am surprised that political "rorting / gaming" of the system was perceived as red behaviour by this group.

    My take on Red attitude to rules is that - I am the boss, rules don't apply to me

    On the other hand, orange has learned to internalise the rules - orange is red express self energy plus the rules of blue.

    My take from Australia was that some of the politicians may have had the Red attitude but on balance their behaviour was Orange - that they weren't breaking any laws but that they were deemed to have broken the "spirit" of the laws - and in some cases not even the spirit. It was simply a public backlash. Orange's job job is to optimise around rules or find creative ways around them that violate the spirit but not the letter

    Could you please explain why the categorisation was Red.

    Thanks

    Alan

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  20. Albert KLamt says

    I blogged about the symposium here:

    http://voyager.gaia.com/blog/2008/8/symposium_national_culture_revisited

    The event organizers announced to summarize the complete symposium and maybe translating
    it into English too. Will check out how far they are:):)

    A Brit who has thought and written quite a lots about national,multi-cultural, European and global identities is Timothy Garton Ash. Cofounder of European Council on Foreign Realtions.
    He intuited recently that the development of Europe-inclusive the respective national projects -will have impact on growth and breakthroughs in Middle East too.

    Its a unique opportunity for integral approaches of all kind to map out and identify this stratified collective identity building.

    Without first tier allergy:):)

    Beste Grüße aus Deutschland,

    Albert

    Like (1)
  21. keitherice says

    Thanks, folks for your support and kind comments.

    Albert, your comments about Germans struggling with national identity too are interesting. Perhaps layers of identity should be one of the themes for the Confab in October...? To which we hope many of our continental cousins, such as yourself, will come!

    I'm a Liverpudlian.

    I'm an Englishman.

    I'm a Briton.

    I'm a European.

    I'm a global citizen.

    I'm a child of the universe.

    Best

    Keith

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  22. Michael Beaton says

    thanks for the blog work...
    Michael

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  23. Lynne Sedgmore CBE says

    Keith's blog gives a clear, perceptive and enticing picture of the weekend.
    Lynne Sedgmore CBE

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  24. Albert Klamt says

    Keith,

    thank you very much for this quick summary of the London Event.

    Exactly these considerations and distinctions are relevant for Germany and German speaking countries Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein , Luxembourg and Germany too. You know we are working at Integral leadership review for a special issue 1/2010 about Germany, Europe and World
    I remember a 2008 Berlin symposium about

    Symposium: National Identity revisited

    where Foreign MInister Frank Walter Steinmeier quoted Kurt Tucholsky:

    "Nothing makes the Germans loose their composure as much as when
    trying to find themselves."

    And celebrating in 2009 20 years after fall of the wall. 60 years of the new constitution after WW2. And 30 years EU. So lots of identity complexity comes to consciousness.

    Congrats to EuroConfab 2009 in UK.

    Best, from Germany,

    Albert

    Like (1)