Past Articles

« Inspired by You | Main | The wisdom to know nothing »

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl - the underground movement that's getting out of hand

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come".... Victor Hugo

The title of my last post  'Inspired by You'  was a reminder to myself that it is only in coming together that Inspiration flourishes.  It was to remind me that Inspiration awakens in me as I recognise that Inspiration's (life's?) purpose -- to become aware of our connection, our Oneness... is in fact my own purpose too... what I really want.  It is so easy for me to forget this and try to find inspiration in my work, play and my life choices instead of where it's really at... in the bigger picture.

So, in the spirit of eating my own dog food, I took the advice of the 'Pooh bear' yesterday....  "You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."  After an absence I took a little time out to go through my feed reader to see what others were up to.

I ended up well and truly inspired by some of the things that Johnnie Moore was saying.  Johnnie's post  Gemeinschaftsgefuhl...  led me to  this excellent post  from  Tom Guarriello.  Here's the central thought:

We live in the least violent era in human history.  By any metric (fatalities caused by war, institutional torture, domestic violence, child abuse, slavery) global civilization has never been as peaceful."

I thought I was reasonably well informed but I didn't know that at all.  Certainly I am aware of this undercurrent of well-being and desire to reconnect around the world, but I assumed that with more sophisticated weaponry there was as much violence now as there had ever been.

I suppose it's easy for us to assume that this new era of peacefulness has been caused by communication technology rendering us less able to turn a blind eye to others suffering, but as Tom suggests there's something deeper afoot here:  Gemeinschaftsgefuhl - 'a profound sense of caring for others and a desire to improve the world.' ....Wiktionary

"Gemeinschaftsgefuhl".... what a marvelous word that is.  Pity it's so difficult to pronounce!

It appears on the surface that our life on earth is taking a huge turn for the worse with all the climactic changes going on, but look just below the surface of appearances and we can recognise this inexorable groundswell of 'gemeinschaftsgefuh' taking place.  But here's the really intriguing thing:  It seems as though it's impossible to see both of these worlds.  The sight of one world denies the other.  But both can't be true.

Albert Einstein once said the most important question a human being can ask is,  “Is the universe friendly?”  The answer to this can be either 'yes' or no', shades of grey just don't come into it.  And so it's absolutely pointless trying to persuade anyone of the reality of the benevolent world view if they haven't at the least glimpsed it for themselves.[1]

So what can we do?

I've often used Gandhi's quote as a way to express this, probably because I've never managed to find the right words myself.  Well here it is expressed beautifully.  These words of Johnnie's from his post  'Enterprise 2.0 and the loveliness of the water', (in the context of Enterprise 2.0 practices)  for me gets to the heart of this and articulates so clearly what I have wanted to express:

So maybe the best thing is  not  to try too hard to champion new ways, not to overdo the "not getting it" taboo, and put the energy into doing the stuff and trust that, in the end, people's natural desire to join in will take over."

Yes that's it.... change by osmosis.

Credit:  The picture is of the  Universal Flag  that  Thea Westra  kindly pointed me to.


[1].. When I first started blogging I had this compulsion to join the debate on blogs that took a stance against the seeming injustices of the world, saying things like... "Things aren't what they seem, there is a better way, and that way is in our hands."  I loved the sentiment of blogs like  How to save the world  and was drawn there by the genuine willingness to not shirk away from the grotesqueness of human suffering.  But I know now that by arguing against the perception of a broken world I just add substance to the illusion that it is more than a perception.... and I just make the illusion of powerlessness all the more real.

As Bucky Fuller said: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Comments >>


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gemeinschaftsgefuhl - the underground movement that's getting out of hand:



  • ..this blog stems from a recognition that our true nature is far more creative, loving and unlimited than we could possibly imagine... and it transforms everything... a practical, generic solution to all our problems.

    These are just my lesson notes as I try to  be true to that recognition... and  learn to fly.  So it's quite possible that everything here may be wrong.

    Thank you for visiting.  Email (to Nick Smith) is always welcome.

Keep Up To Date    

  • You can use a feed reader and then subscribe or enter an email address below to receive updates.


Google +

  • Join the conversation here...