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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/28/15

Bottom Up Decision Making: Holocracy and Consensus a Path Towards an Empowering Future?

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Thus the evolution of our bodies is a networking of the parts in relationship to the whole. In fetal development, every cell has the ability to be any organ of the body. This is the idea of cloning. In the fetus' development, the cells become what they manifest as based on the needs of the body. Thus, one cell becomes a liver cell based on what is called for in relationship to the holistic body. It held the potential to be a heart cell or whatever.

Likewise, we as human beings breathe out carbon dioxide which trees and plants breathe in and vice versa. Again, we become what we are based on the interactions of the whole. Life is more of a jam session than an orchestrated affair with a man waving a wand behind the pulpit.

Jam sessions are bottom-up.

This does NOT mean that there are times in which top-down doesn't apply. If you are a mom and you see your baby putting her finger into an electrical socket, you want to say a firm "NO!" and get the child away from the socket. Yet, you still allow for the child to unfold in her own way, which is counter to the notion of standardized education. There has to be a balance.

If you stifle the natural inclinations of your child, you are probably fostering a sense of disempowerment leading to a lower self-esteem. Our children are not meant to be assembly line material. Their evolution is more from the inside out more so than the outside in. (More truly spoken, evolution is the dance between inside and outside, the yin and the yang or female and male).

In other words, "Bottom-Up" and "Top-Down" are not meant to be conflicting ways of making decisions. Both are needed. But, in this day of corporate rule, what power do most of us have? More specifically what power do the Blacks in Baltimore have? Why did they rebel in the 60's? Disempowerment! It's plain and simple. Why do some of us rebel today against corporations ruling the roost? Disempowerment!

What would a true democracy look like? It would be an inclusive and equitable democracy. The question is, how do we truly empower all the people? How do we kindle bottom-up democracy?

The answer to the question is multi-faceted. In this piece, I want to introduce to the reader the idea of consensus governance/decision making. Consensus decision-making also speaks to the notion of what is called holocracy.

According to Wikipedia, Consensus Decision making entails:

A group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support, a decision in the best interest of the whole. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the "favourite" of each individual. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its origin in the Latin cōns"nsus (agreement), which is from cōnsentiō meaning literally feel together. It is used to describe both the decision and the process of reaching a decision. Consensus decision-making is thus concerned with the process of deliberating and finalizing a decision, and the social and political effects of using this process.

As I have experienced Consensus Decision Making, once a group agrees on a course of action, the group then constantly monitors a decision to determine its impact. The agreed upon action is constantly looked at in terms of what needs to be changed and what is working well.

This pattern speaks very much to the idea that the Earth in essence brought forth human beings by this very process. Everything on Earth contributed to the atmospheric conditions on this planet that led to us hairless monkeys (i.e., human beings). Thus, the planet does not really evolve from an external Creator. It evolves from the process of Creativity. Again I point to the article I wrote regarding God as Verb. In Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, this is referred to as "The Way." The Way is not a dogmatic statement telling you what to believe. It is a statement that speaks to how you come to a decision in relationship to the whole!

Unfortunately, many claim ideas like "Christ is the Way" meaning the dominant view of what Christ would want must be followed. An alternative way of interpreting is to consider "Christ as the Process." Jesus is showing us what it means to be fully human. Regarding the latter, the Virgin Birth in mystic Christianity is being in a mind state that is beyond corporate, government and family influences. Instead, the Virgin Birth is seen in the light of Meister Eckhart who states the Virgin Birth as being in a state "in which you were not." In Buddhism, this is called being empty of yourself. Entering that state is called Nirvana!

(Can you see why many of these stories speak to the dominant culture wanting to destroy this Child? Can you see how this definition can empower YOU!?)

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Burl Hall is a retired counselor who is living in a Senior Citizen Housing apartment. Burl has one book to his credit, titled "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal our Wounded Nature." For more information, search the book on Amazon. (more...)
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