Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fitting In, In Our Quest for Truth

     In our quest for truth we meet with obstacles that disallow us from going into darker corners of reality and therefore we trip, we stumble and sometimes we fall hard.  If and when we get up we may pick up where we left off or go deeper into denial.  I have come to learn this from my own experience as well as talking to others who have tried.
     I was recently reminded of David Korten’s book, The Great Turning and how he walks the reader through different stages of consciousness maturity that I’ve summarized below.  He says most are part of the third stage called, Socialized Consciousness:

The majority, willing to fit in with the prevailing culture whose focus in on values and morals.

     I sometimes find myself torn between this and the next stage as I like to “fit in” and be accepted by others, but the core of who I am falls more into the fourth stage, which Korten calls, Cultural Consciousness.  This stage can emerge after age 30 though not always and is more about focusing on an inclusive worldview founded on liberal ideas.  I find myself wanting to reside in the latter, but because of struggling to be accepted by the majority, I find myself back in the Socialized Consciousness stage at times.
     I admire those who are secure enough with their own beliefs and find it more important to work towards creating rather than being concerned about acceptance.  They say the latter may come once people discover what they can create together, and in the meantime they would rather spend their energy on creating, as change in others will only come from within, if it happens at all.
     I still remember what it felt like having a foot in both worlds, one where most are struggling to survive and/or happily ignorant and the one I find myself in now, where I’m accepted by the few and shunned by the many who are still part of the first stage which Korten says is normal for children from ages two to six.  This is the Magical Consciousness stage:

 Focusing on powerful, magical beings
who may be
charitable or malicious in nature
spreading goodwill or creating harm.

     Over the past seven years while entertaining guests with some commonalities we’ve learned to hone our skills and to not be afraid to ask questions.  I still remember feeling reluctant to share our blog as I didn’t want them to think we were “doomers”.  Now it’s part of our first email response, kind of “read at your own risk” as your illusion of who we are may change after reading, though we don’t accept responsibility for the pain it may cause you.
     In our attempt to find our co-housing partners, we have had to change our ad many times with more specifics of what we’re looking for.  We agreed that next to being able to share expenses our other main objective was to find others who understand the predicament we’re in and ready to do the work to secure the necessary things needed to sustain us, mainly food, water, housing and clothing.
     We strive to be open and honest hoping we get the same in return, though we try not to have expectations.  I think this would make a good fifth agreement (see Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements), “Don’t have expectations”, though some may disagree since the third agreement is: “Don’t make assumptions”, which can mean the same thing.
     It’s hard not to build on enthusiasm and hope for the best outcome though sometimes short-lived, then there are other times we learn quickly that the mechanism isn’t there to make the wheels go round to continue moving forward.  It’s been an interesting ride and the experience we’ve gained in improving our communication skills has proved to be invaluable.
     Often times I’m reminded of musical chairs and how I hated never having a seat to sit on like all the other players.  Sometimes for the social butterfly it means having to get their wings clipped now and then to experience the quest for truth.  I’m just thankful that the journey has been full of amazing color and beautiful scenery filled with lessons to be learned.  Maybe someday I’ll find myself on the same stage as everyone else dancing to a tune that we all know.


  1. Arriving at GardenGate is a homecoming. Your vision and purpose are evident; everywhere one looks is a surround of courage and competence.

    Keep educating us. Keep seeking, believing and visioning. Above all courage. Stay the wonderful teachers you are!

    Photos and videos of garden gate July 2011 can be found here:

    Discussion by David and Elaine on Processing a raw fleece:

    Elaine spinning on a Ashford traditional wheel:

    Elaine models a finished sweater of Romney wool:

    David Kost discusses bee hives and cooperation:

    Elaine 'socializes' the chicks for their new home:


    The movement has begun. You ARE the brush!
    Visit us at our website: SeniorsHomingTogether
    Create the possibility and start the dialogue with MEETUP.

    Want to be an inspiration to others? Interested in what is going on?

  2. Thanks again Zoe for all the support and effort on your behalf to help us grow.