From Our Readers

The New Being of Human Being: New Emergent Cognitive Capacity

p76 Christensen headshotEarly on, we lived in a mesh of power sources that whirled around and through us and we rode the currents, enmeshed in the mesh.

Then we introjected the power, took it as ours, and lived the power we had become.

From this seat of power we set boundaries, put things in order, defended ourselves and our property, all the while looking back to our ancestors and heroes.

Then we introjected that order and the boundaries, took them as ours, and learned to control the power that had been living us.

Here we turned toward the future where purpose is realized. To facilitate this journey, we learned to live in agreement with others. The major medium for this agreement were the stories, definitions, words, metaphors, and such that we used to articulate the nature of ourselves and our world.

Then we acknowledged our non-temporal capacity for narration, took it as ours, and learned to create from a level senior to narration, a level outside of time and direction.

We now sit on this perch of objectivity, free from characterizations of time or space. Here we are able to think and feel about our thoughts and feelings; able to choose and create our thoughts and feelings; able to conjure up perspectives and disappear them just as quickly. It is here, on this perch that admits of no objectification or limit, that the new human sits. What does this perch now make possible?

From this point of view, we can see all our forms of mind. Our identity is no longer something that defines us but something we can objectify. Thus, the new human being can choose to engage others in a collaboration wherein all agree to be present as beings senior to our identities. More creativity and insight can surface when identity concerns are not filtering our expressions.

If we have no objectifiable essential identity, we are nothing we can articulate and in no place we can find. If that is so, then we have nothing to fear, for nothing can be lost. If we gather together, agreeing we bring nothing we can lose to the table, then we have set the conditions again for less fear, more love, more creativity.

Not being burdened by identity, we can fully entertain the identity of others, what some would say is the way of love and compassion. We have not ceased to be, of course, we have only ceased to be defined by any element of cognition, and that is certainly new.
Living from pure objectification we can collaborate, sharing the presumption that no perspective is the correct one. From this expanse, we can bring in all the perspectives we can find to address a problem. With nothing in place to filter out perspectives, we will have more information available to us, minimal bias involved in communicating this information, and a much wider range of possible solutions and insights. Here we find and/or create the capacity for vertical collective intelligence.

We have moved from essentially solo performances to a troupe of humans emerging a choreography, the intelligence of which only emerges in the dance.

There are other such aspects of the new human.1 They all sum up to a human being that has a hugely increased span of freedom to be and do. Within the space of this new freedom, our circle of empathy widens and is naturally brought to our collaborations. With an increase in empathy, fear diminishes and insights are abundant. Collaboration at this level has already provided reports of more encompassing, more creative, and more life-affirming solutions (e.g., Dialogue, World Café, Facilitation, Open Inquiry, Holacracy, Art of Hosting, Teal and Yellow, Theory U, etc.) It appears the new human is already here and busy.

There are three tensions in humanity at the moment that strongly invite the new human: the intractable problems we have created cannot be solved at the level they were created; the many communities of life on our planet are merging steadily into one global family and huge conflicts remain; our hearts ache for the end of suffering for all life forms and there is no escape from this.

The confluence of these conditions, coupled with the higher cognitive complexity available to many of us, has already emerged a new way of being for the human being i.e. (the aperspectival, radically objective and still non-separate open-hearted human being). We have become the solution we search for.

May it be so.