Realizing that so much of our process in working with each other mimics Nature’s ability to respond and evolve organically, we set out to discover how to apply Nature’s way to addressing our global challenges.
Nature does not rely on the kind of strategic, linear thinking we humans do. Nature doesn’t plan to create a forest on the east side of a river six months from now; it simply grows responsively, interdependent with the ecosystems around it. This process simultaneously occurs all around the globe, and when we don’t interfere, the result is a level of interconnection and balance that we are only now developing the capacity to comprehend and marvel at. This capacity of Nature is far beyond the rational “if-then” mentality that forms the mainstream of our culture. It is trans-rational, capable of emerging order from chaotic and conflicting needs.
We have created a practice ground where we can explore and reveal our ability to mimic Nature’s capacity for emergence and move beyond our minds’ and egos’ habits of planning and doing. In this space we are evolving new muscles for cooperation and co-creation; to develop our capacity to birth initiatives, projects, and solutions for the kind of wicked problems we are all facing on a global scale.
We started by gathering a pool of shared resources, which required each of us to stretch by committing money, time, skills, assets, networks and anything else that could serve. We began by confronting and addressing our dysfunctional relationships to money, time and other “valued resources.” This exercise brought up intense feelings of scarcity, shame and fears surrounding irrational, survival stories and beliefs from childhood. Sharing with each other our innermost fears and stories has better prepared us for the Alchemy challenge. We were able to see how each of us held something tightly: some were protective of our relationships, others of time, many of money. Each of us is in widely different situations, and thus committing $100 for some of us was as much a stretch as $10,000 or $100,000 for others.
We drew on the deep trust in ourselves and each other and the skills we had cultivated through our work together, and we leaned into our fears openly and vulnerably.
We shared our stories, laughed and cried together. Ultimately we collectively committed over $240,000, 70 hours/week and a long list of resources ranging from tech skills to real estate into a communal pot. We placed the financial resources in a shared bank account where no member has priority or privilege over any other member, regardless of individual contribution levels. We trust each other to each be a full signatory on the account, knowing that our community values and our internal agreement holds more power than the legal system to keep our egos and our self-preservation mechanisms in check.
We leaped into what we called “The Alchemy Void.” We began to spend two hours twice a week on Zoom holding space together, remaining quiet and listening for what wants to emerge around our pooled resources.
We are guided by our collective intention to alchemize our relationship to self, each other, nature and money. In the Void, we felt the discomfort within and between us, driven by our social conditioning to say or do something. But we maintained our attention… to each other, to our intention, and to the anxious background hum saying “what are we doing? Stop wasting all this time!” As we sat in the Void, day after day, a curious thing occurred – we started to have fun! We played with whatever arose: silly hats, song, or deep spiritual silence.
The longer we sat in the Void, the more we could feel a creative force gathering. After the first two weeks this force erupted into our midst with the spark of an idea … which we celebrated, thanked, and released.
In our next session, we started from zero. And mid-way through, a completely different, larger idea spontaneously emerged. We released that one too. The following session once again began with quiet listening… and in the last half hour a truly comprehensive multidisciplinary, global initiative began to form. It was organically connected to each of our skills and talents, drew on resources and played to passions we could each connect with! One of our members was moved to draft this proposal and we are in open-ended cooperative discussions with potential partners.
In our next Void session we generated another proposal for bringing what we called Deep Human Technology to Singularity University. Each week we return to the Void to explore and discover what wants to emerge in this space.
Regardless of what happens with any of these initiatives, we know for certain that the primary Alchemy of ourselves is evolving tangibly. We are seeing the early fruits of a trans-rational capacity to evolve radical solutions that can bring about major collective action.
Alchemy is becoming a proven methodology for engendering Integrated Cooperation between geographically distributed, highly diverse individuals.
We have already seen the power it holds for tapping into Nature’s capacity to generate in ourselves and we are glimpsing the far greater impact it could have as it spreads to others around the globe. Imagine what we can create together as a species!