Of Dragons, Angels and Umbilici

Download the PDF here.

A Journey to Re-discover the Energetic Navel of the Netherlands

The Source

As I walked out of the Henge shop in Avebury in the summer of 2007 I had a strong sense that the book I had just bought was going to open many doors. It was a fairly old book, containing what sometimes looked like photocopied articles from a variety of authors, pulled together under the book title “Anti-Gravity and the World Grid”. The “world grid” was the bit that grabbed me, as somewhere I was on a quest to learn more about the Earth’s energy body and how to relate to it.

One of the articles in that book had stood out for me as I browsed through. Written by Richard Leviton, it sketched out a picture of the planet covered in different energetic features, in a way that for some reason resonated strongly. It was both the significant implications of his experience as well as the lightness with which he held it that attracted me. And it provided me with a way in to a world that I felt strongly drawn to.

The Invitation

Once back home in the Netherlands, I knew that something had shifted in me and that I needed to give it attention. So in a moment of reckless freedom I tracked down Richard’s number and called him. Continue reading

SDi EuroConfab 2008

Hi there – in case you haven’t heard, the annual gathering in Europe of practitioners of Spiral Dynamics Integral is happening at the end of this month. We would love to have as many people as possible from around the world. See below for info and come to the Netherlands, where shift happens!

EuroConFab 2008 Newsflash 01

From Friday afternoon October 31th until Sunday morning November 2nd the Center for Human Emergence (CHE) organizes the third international conference on: The practice of Spiral Dynamics Integral

You can register for the EuroConFab 2008 on-line. The registration form can be found on: www.spiraldynamicsintegral.nl

EuroConFab 2008 – the basics

The purpose is to create an internationally shared field of best practices of emergence and evolutionary change.

We start on Friday October 31st at 12.30hrs. The closure of the program is on Sunday November 2nd after lunch around 14.00hrs.

Early Bird price, book before 30 September: 395 Euro (19%VAT not included), after this date: 495 Euro (19%VAT not included). This includes conference fee, meals and accommodation (in single rooms) at conference centre Zonheuvel, in Doorn: www.hotelzonheuvel.eu .

A preview of some sessions

Every newsflash we will give you a preview of some sessions. This time more information on the contributions of Don Beck and Kees Hogendijk, and the latest affirmations for sessions we received.

Dr Don Beck on Large Scale Psychology

Dr. Don Beck will focus on a new branch of psychology that he as co-created called “Large-Scale Psychology.” It will describe the change and transformational processes in cities, cultures, movements, states, and entire nations/countries. Not only will it reflect an understanding of Spiral Dynamics, but will also introduce the Assimilation-Contrast Effect from the theory building by Muzafer Sherif around the theme of Social Judgment. He will identify the Conditions for Large Scale change and how it is now possible to craft, through the principles and processes of Natural Design, the multiple goals of a sustainable society, one that has developed the skills of resilience, and is aware of the many aspects of emergence at the DNA core of decision-making and competency layers within leadership. Case studies will include, the United States, the Netherlands, Palestine-Israel, South Africa, and now Mexico. See how theory and practice can inform each other as we develop greater complexity to deal with our problems and challenges of existence.

Kees Hoogendijk on Energy

Kees is an entrepreneur (with a background in Chemical Engineering), who went on a search (in the year 2000) for the essence of energy: energy in people, energy in organisations, energy in societies, energy as a source for peace and energy as a sustainable source for local (distributed) electricity production. A source of energy for everyone and owned by everyone. A source of energy which transcends the notion of scarcity and creates the integral experience of abundance and peace from within. This passionate journey lead him to the deep knowledge of many ancient cultures. His sources of inspiration were those who had made this journey before and published about it: Newton, Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, Schwaller de Lubicz, Steiner, Bailey, Blavatski, Teilhard de Chardin, Walter Russel, the great quantum physicists and some important alchemists. Kees reports about the challenge to translate universal ancient principles into practical solutions. This lead to a wealth of insights and experiences, some simple energy principles and practical lessons of what works and what doesn’t on the path to manifesting new energy technologies. When energy is shared freely, a truly important condition is fulfilled to make a contribution to a better world with unlimited opportunities for every human being. When there is energy, there is water, food, health and the opportunity to experience personal growth.

Peter Merry on the Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence, and the latest that is emerging on the world stage.

Latest confirmations for sessions:

Bjarni Snæbjörn Jónsson from Iceland will present the results of the second society values scan in Iceland.

Christopher Cooke wil not only share his experiences with SDi in Healthcare projects, he also shares the next developments in PeopleSCAN. Great!

Jeroen Maes will share his experience with one of the first cases of implementing holacracy in Europe.

And more to come …

Call for contributions

This is a conference for practitioners by practitioners. So we invite you to put forward your experiences, quests and questions and exchange, share and co-create them with the other participants. If you wish to share your daily practice during a session, we invite you to send us a short description of your subject as soon as possible and no later than October 10th. You can do that by sending an e-mail to euroconfab@humanemergence.nl.


We notice an increasing number questions that people ask us. We try to answer every question with care. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Do I have to be SDI 1 certified to attend?
A: No, that is not necessary. We do use Spiral Dynamics Integral as a language during the conference and require that you understand this. So if you have not followed a course in this material we ask you to attend the introduction workshop prior to the conference. Friday morning, 9 to 13:00 at the Zonheuvel, cost 75 euro.

Q: I can only be at a part of the conference, is it still possible to attend?
A: The basic idea of the conference is that it it’s a two days event. The evenings are part of the program and contribute to building an international community of best practitioners. But yes, it is possible to attend a part of the program. However you will miss some very interesting best practices.

Q: I have the possibilty to stay overnight at home or somewhere else. Do I have to stay overnight in Huize Bergen?
A: No, you don’t have to stay overnight in Huize Bergen. However it is included with the participation fee.

Q: What is the business model of financial objective behind the euroconfab?
A: We try to keep the costs to a minimum, don’t work with a profit objective and can barely give discounts. If you would like, we will send you our budget. Let us know on: euroconfab@humanemergence.nl.

Q: Talking about the participation fee, is it possible to get a discount when I don’t stay overnight or attend only one day?
A: People can come for one day but we decided not to offer discounts for this. We see the EuroConfab as a group process and want to encourage everyone to join the whole of it. We want to become a community for two days. We do not want to encourage people to do (get or give ) their thing, be a presenter/consumer of a specific part and then leave. We would love the dynamic of a conference for the people by the people, so there is an interchange. Also: as it is an international conference, most people will join the lot.

Q: Can I get a discount when I participate as facilitator of a session?
A: No, we work with the principle that we all have to contribute equally, also in financial aspect. Even the organizing committee of the conference doesn’t get a discount on their participation fee.

Q: What is the difference with “Klaar Om Te Wenden”?
A: The ConFab is a community of practice. There will be more interaction, we work with smaller groups and there will be more in depth conversations about practices, experiences and questions

Q: I am not able to participate in this EuroConFab, what now?
A: This is the third EuroConFab (and we are a bit proud of that). We are full of confidence that this has proven to be an event that is returning each year. Stay informed through http://www.humanemergence.org

See you on October 31st!

Kindest regards from the EuroConFab-team 2008:

Auke van Nimwegen, Midas Buddemeijer, Jasper Rienstra en Anne-Marie Voorhoeve

Dutch Emergence 2 – Healing Collective Trauma to Enable Action

Download the PDF here.

The ego … in its zeal to assert its independence, not only transcended the Great Mother, which was desireable; it repressed the Great Mother, which was disastrous. And there the Western ego demonstrated not just an awakened assertiveness, but a blind arrogance. … The Western ego did not just gain its freedom from the Great Mother; it severed its deep interconnectedness with her. … When the Great Mother [Purple] is repressed, the Great Goddess [Turquoise] is concealed. … And one may – it is a terrible realization – look in vain through Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religion for any authentic trace of the higher touch of the subtle Goddess herself. And that, we will see, would become a perfect and terrifying comment on an entire civilisation.” (Ken Wilber, Up from Eden – my additions in [square brackets] )

We are entering a new phase of our work and evolution as the CHE Netherlands, and it feels like this step we are taking is a fractal of the step the nation is being called to take, and indeed the planet as a whole.

During our retreat at the mid-point of the Fifth Day of the Galactic Underworld (May 22-23) – as the new consciousness really starts to take form in the mainstream and at the same time the shadow energy of the Fifth Night starts to seep in – we were called to a new step. It manifested in patterns such as the need to create clear structure, process, agreements etc, combined with a call to make explicit dissonance that we are feeling as individuals about the way the organisation might be shaping up, and about the way we are choosing to behave as individuals. The general theme was for more earthiness, realness, authenticity, clarity – basically “descending” energy as compared to the “ascending” energy that had been guiding us in recent months. The physical gestures that often accompanied the conversation included a strong slapping of the belly region!

At the beginning of the Fifth Day, we made a conscious choice to push outwards, expand, explore, diverge, ascend – and then to take stock in May. Now we are being called to put the foundations in place so that the many initiatives that are emerging can become rooted and fully manifest (descend).

At the same time as this was going on in the organisation, we have been confronted with a reality in the Netherlands of a very serious issue with the dikes. Marieke de Vrij, a highly respected intuitive, has been getting clear images the last couple of years of weaknesses in some of the key dikes. She had been going through the formal institutions (who had already tested her intuitive capacity and accepted its validity) until a couple of months ago, when she decided that they were not taking it seriously enough, were not moving ahead quickly enough, and did not seem to have the capacity to collaborate cross-institution to do what needs to be done. She decided to sound the alarm-bell in public, firstly amongst the more conscious population.

As she told us her story during the Dutch Confab (on May 29), we probed deeper into what it was in the Dutch psyche and soul that was preventing people from moving into action. She revealed a very significant characteristic, that I feel is not only Dutch-related, but connects to the dynamic that Ken Wilber describes for Western civilisation in the opening quote.

She said that the Dutch have a tendency to stay very much in the head and analytical domain, and that the whole belly and groin area is constricted and cramped. Given that we should move ourselves from that area, it means that there is a sort of action-paralysis, whereby people often find good reasons not to act. Sensing deeper, she explained how the amount of animal suffering in this country is truly unbelievable is you let it in (there was a programme on TV the other day showing young chicks going through a shredder). Somehow, we have managed to cut ourselves off from our sensitivity to the experiences of the animal world, and nature more broadly. That denial has as one consequence the paralysis of action.

In Spiral terms, you can see what she is describing as the transcendence and repression of Purple (the Great Mother Ken talks of above), which is leading to the lack of a solid foundation for the healthy expression of Red warriorship and creativity (to learn about these colour codes from Spiral Dynamics, click here). The way she described the Dutch dynamic was one wherein when people do act it tends to be fairly harsh action that creates turbulence around them, and so rather than act in that way, they hold back and don’t act at all. An emasculated culture. Without the embeddedness of the masculine Red action system in the feminine Purple sensing system, it cannot function healthily for the whole. In the Martial Arts, this is represented in the way you bow to each other, where the action hand is always held in the compassion hand.

One of the things I am initiating to help us engage this dynamic, is some Deep Ecology work, building on initial work by John Seed and Joanna Macy (more recently they refer to it as the Work which Reconnects). In this work, you really connect to the Great Mother, feel who you are as part of that, and listen deeply to what the rest of life is telling you at this time. There has been much critique of Deep Ecology work in the Integral community, mainly because it is not being seen in this evolutionary context. If it is used as a sort of romanticisation of a back-to-nature way of living, then it won’t necessarily serve the evolutionary impulse. If however it is used in a way to deal with the repression of the Great Mother that we have experienced in the Industrialised world (the burning of literally millions of women as witches is but one example of what is creating our collective pathology), then the consciousness that is brought to the process and participants is likely to help release the blocked energy from that repression so that we can move into rapid and effective action in the world.

Building on this insight, I got another one yesterday. I was watching the Trooping of the Colour for the Queen’s birthday in London on TV, and was deeply impressed by the powerful Purple and Blue systems at work. The discipline and commitment of those soldiers to manage to keep it all together was truly remarkable – many having just come back from duty in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It all made me feel a bit home-sick! When my Dutch wife returned, and we were watching the highlights in the evening with our 4-year old boy Finnlo (who loved it!), I was eulogising about the beauty and power of it, and she just could not resonate with it at all! That set me thinking…

The lack of healthy Purple over here is bound to have repercussions for the Blue system (Blue emerges out of Purple, under influence of Red). Blue is also a system that makes things happen – responsibility, commitment to a cause, discipline in the application – all things which I know Andrew Cohen laments as lacking in this country when he is over here. The reputation the Netherlands has as a liberal country reflects a more individualistic tendency – people can choose what they want to do. That freedom of choice, if not embedded in healthy collective systems, can lead to paralysis – and so we go full circle to the water issue. Healing the individual interior Purple and Blue, will create healthy and rapid action out of Red and Orange. Healing the collective interior Purple and Blue should enable the emergence of new systems in the collective to manage the life conditions threat that is now on the doorstep. Revitalised Purple and Blue will also lead to a functional Green where the capacity to engage the diversity in the nation is activated to enable the country to deal effectively with the complexity of the challenges it is facing.

So that’s it for now! Needed to get that down and out. I’m intrigued to know what the Cloggies reckon, and if there are others out there who see this also as a dynamic in their countries or communities.

Core Functions of a Healthy Society

We have co-emerged these as core functions of a society that practices sustainability, resilience and emergence, as part of the project we are involved in to facilitate the current transition in the Dutch society. They act as a check list to see to what extent the diverse policy areas and implementation projects support these core functions. We wrote them originally in Dutch (below), so this is a translation. I’d be interested in your thoughts:

Survival (beige) : to provide basic needs for people who can not look after themselves
Belonging (purple) : to take care that people feel they belong
Power (red) : to trigger self-expression and action
Purpose-Structure (blue) : to name and protect our collective Purpose and the agreements that are necessary to fulfil it
Entrepreneurship (orange) : to continually stimulate high performance, successful entrepreneurship and innovation
Sensitivity (green) : to offer the possibility for personal growth and participation for everyone in the society, while caring for the natural habitat that we live in
Integral (yellow) : to stimulate functional connection and vitality across the whole society aligned behind the higher Purpose
Holistic (turquoise) : to facilitate the emergence of holistic solutions that serve life as a whole

Overleven (beige) : voorzien in de basisbehoeften voor mensen die niet (meer) voor zich zelf kunnen zorgen
Familie (paars) : er voor zorgen dat mensen geborgen zijn en zich thuis voelen
Expressie (rood: aanzetten tot zelfexpressie, creativiteit en daadkracht
Structuur-zingeving (blauw) : vormgeven en bewaken van onze gemeenschappelijke bestemming en de daarvoor noodzakelijke collectieve afspraken
Ondernemingszin (oranje) : voortdurend stimuleren van hoge prestatie, succesvol ondernemerschap en innovatiekracht
Sensitief (groen) : de mogelijkheid aanbieden voor persoonlijke groei en participatie voor iedereen in de samenleving; zorgen voor de natuurlijke wereld waarin wij leven
Integraal (geel) : bevorderen van integraal; werken en verbindingen leggen tussen de verschillende perspectieven en functies

Leadership from the Field

These thoughts emerged in an email I wrote as we explored “leadership” in the context of the Center for Human Emergence Netherlands (www.humanemergence.nl):

It feels to me like we need to think of leadership as leadership in the Field – regardless of specific formal positions in the structures etc. And that we continually need to implicate ourselves. So a shift from “you” to “us”. A world where the One and the Many are transcended but included. Leadership as holding the energetic space that one is called to hold, and that fits with the energetic resonance that one emits from the Spiral, as well as personality archetypes, and other lines of development. This will be in many different functions and levels in organisations and societies, woven together in an ecological holarchy where there is no judgement about the “level”, simply natural functional fit.