Finding space for Reconnection in a mainstream society
Four minds with a passion for living and creating. Four people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Four individuals. Four friends. Four humans.
“We're under the illusion and acting as if we're not connected. That's the problem.”
What do we see as disconnection?
As one of our wise network participants has put it, “The Western culture, particularly patriarchal Western culture, has tended to emphasize strident individualism and self-righteous independence. And the result has been hyper-competition and disconnections.” While living in modern society as a young person, it is often easy to get absorbed into the culture without realizing the damage it might be causing to our individual and communal beings. As humans, we naturally seek connectedness, long contact, and interaction. Sometimes, however, the modern world is making us look the wrong way in our search. This is where we as individuals came together seeing the issue of disconnection (from self, others, and nature) on a tremendous scale, and being willing to put ourselves out there to explore and try to create a social impact. We saw an urgent need for a wider individual and ecological consciousness and meaningful re-embodiment of increasingly digitalised cultural communities. This brought us to the question: How can we as a modern society reconnect to nature, others and ourselves again to be able to deal with the current social and environmental challenges of our time?
To address that question, we started doing our research, reading, watching, creating a network, and talking to people that have been dedicating their lives to it, on both personal and professional levels. We have created some incredible connections, with people who teach and research about bodywork, breathwork, deep ecology, spiritual intelligence, thrivability, systems thinking, psychology, and practice alternative healing. The conversations helped us to see the interconnectedness of all things and beings and realize that there is a way to reconnect modern science with traditional, indigenous views. As certain and exciting as it sounds, we’ve had our doubts. Our main concern was the clash of what we call mainstream and regenerative culture, the misinterpretation of our views by academia and our peers. You see, our interests on this journey have been diverging from human psychology and brain neuroscience, which are perceived as more serious types of sciences, to shamanism, spirituality, and indigenous wisdom, all of which are much more debatable and face more criticism in academia and society in general. We even joke internally about all the wudu-wudu stuff we are doing, so the challenge was in finding a way to talk to people about it, ensuring that they perceive it as the serious real stuff that could help our society to move forward and introduce positive, long-lasting change.
This is when it came to us; we cannot change the minds of people, and we cannot convince them to follow something they do not believe in. What we can do, however, is to turn toward the individuals who already show a certain degree of openness towards change and are willing to learn more about these topics. So, we started looking around, brainstorming, and coming up with all sorts of ideas, like nature exposure at the workplace or giving workshops on the topic ourselves. All those ideas seemed okay but we knew that neither do we have the knowledge nor the resources to properly execute them. More to that, we just didn’t feel passionate about it, so proceeding would have been a mistake.
Well, as it always happens, the answer has always been right in front of our faces. GPCM. We’ve looked back at our journeys in this programme and realised that we did our Value Creator on reconnection simply because it seemed to be overlooked by many before. We understood that if the four of us were struggling with it, more like-minded people in our community must need this extra push, an extra reminder of the significance of reconnection and being. And that is how the main value product of our journey has emerged – in the next semester, we as a team will collaborate with the team of professors in our faculty who work on reshaping the current curriculum of the programme. Besides introducing a new client for the semester, we hope to integrate more regenerative practices in academia by exposing both students and professors to previously undiscovered ways of experiencing, while sometimes letting go of the rationale. In that way, we could ensure that these individuals feel more empowered to listen to themselves more closely, become more connected to themselves and others, and find their purpose in a wider variety of directions of sustainability, becoming more thrivable change agents for the 21st century.
“We're also in an academic structure here. Those of you who are creating this are required to create a product, we are within the industrial system that is at academia right now. And that's part of the problem.”
Now we know our purpose is to bring new perspectives and ideas into our community. But how exactly will we make it work? We don’t have specific answers on “…how to move forward because it is not about moving forward. It’s about being here.” It is about being and becoming, having openness towards what is now and what is yet to come. That is the ideology of our team, our mentors and our client towards the future. That is the way we see it – uncertain, yet so beautiful.
“... it's not so much about inter-being as about learning to intra-be without losing our individual identity, but at the same time recognizing that we're part of a larger narrative, a larger whole.”
Do you have further questions or want to get in contact with us or our network? Feel free to connect: