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Dispatch: The Consciousness of (a Thing Called) INL
If this is your first read, welcome to The Conscious Politics Op-Ed (formerly The Conscious Politics Sunday Newsletter). Currently being published as and when the stars align.
Regular readers know — or should know — that the intention of conscious politics is to infuse the mainstream with fresh currents of political thought. Writing this newsletter is an obvious way to do that and getting it read by more people is an ongoing intention as well. Sharing conscious politics with politically awake and aware college students is another high-priority project currently underway thanks to some stellar volunteer assistance that has shown up. (Imagine that.) And introducing conscious politics to politically awake and aware Americans at various conferences has been a high yet somewhat elusive project these days what with zero budget and all.
But we conscious politics practitioners know to hold fast to our intentions and let The Universe figure out how and when things happen, right? So, zip-zap-zoom, of course, I landed at an invitation-only conference of extremely awake and aware American politicos last week called Independent National Leaders (INL), part of the Independent movement in American politics. But I hadn’t fully grokked that before my arrival and the convener joked when we met at the kickoff that I’d somehow entered through the back door. I loved and laughed at that image because 1) it’s always fun to see how intentions manifest and 2) consciousness — like air and water — is just going to flow into whatever spaces it finds: back doors, side doors, cracks in windows, cracks in thinking — whatever! Par for the course.
In truth, Christopher Life, the INL convener (and founder of United Independents and the Independent National Convention), could not have been more welcoming of me and, perhaps even more, of the subject of conscious politics. “Somehow,” the day before, I had been gifted a two-minute slot to pitch conscious politics to the gathering. Alright! That was a precursor to leading a 25-minute breakout (there were 16 of them) and by the end of the first day conscious politics was a familiar term to virtually all of the attendees. They appreciated the 15 concepts and this project writ large, which I know because of the “atta boys” I fielded for the duration of the conference. So…intention to share conscious politics with politically awake and aware Americans at conferences? Just getting going.
But enough about me/us and a little movement in our realm, fun and important as it is. Let’s talk synergy! I most definitely experienced some genuine United Independents-Conscious Politics synergies with Americans who have a strong we the people, not we the party ethos and who are fired up about capitalizing on the fact that half of American voters are no longer affiliated with a political party. Here’s some of what I saw.
You know I always love an excuse to use the we belong to the planet, not the planet to us lens when talking about conscious practice and this gathering gave me ample opportunity. The concept means that we humans share the nature of Nature, which means we thrive when we behave as it does and it is all about interdependence.
Don’t be surprised when you hear more and more talk of Independent candidacies and campaigns in the mainstream of political news — and at the water cooler.
The very first thing I noticed at this event and the thing that stayed with me throughout its two days and evenings was a clear understanding that, irony aside, interdependence is the name of the game in the Independent movement. Hearing terms like “collaborative intelligence” and “inter-organizational” and “inter-movement” were just some of the indicators that this movement is aligned with the nature of Nature.
Everything about creating what we want to be, do, or have begins with being present to what is. And everybody who has already decided to divorce themselves from the existing corrupted structures, to dis-identify as either Democrat or Republican, has spent a great deal of time understanding what is. Done. But of paramount importance, theses folks are avoiding the trap of fighting with and resisting what is, which we all know is crucial to conscious practice. Instead, their attention is focused on what’s preferred, a perfect segue.
This was not a consulting gig where I spoke in-depth with people about crafting shiny, clear intentions. But I’m a professional and I know ‘em when I see ‘em and the people I was with are all day every day about creating what is desired: a more fair, more balanced, more representative government, one that is not beholden to parties and the special interests they answer to (my words). They are all about cultivating an emerging new regime (their words) which sounds a lot like new consciousness to me. So don’t be surprised when, in the coming months and years, you see more and more Independent candidates on your ballot. Don’t be surprised when you hear more and more talk of Independent candidacies and campaigns in the mainstream of political news — and at the water cooler. Don’t be surprised when you see, in the U.S. House of Representatives, a couple dozen Independents who caucus with…Independents. When you do, I feel sure it will be because of United Independents via the INC (July 2024), the INL (which I just attended), and the multitudes of paradigm-shifting people and organizations fueling this movement.
Being Compassionate, New Consciousness
I don’t care who it was, where they might live on our left-right political spectrum or what role they were playing in our politics today but every person I spoke to was in it for “the betterment of all” (their words). They care about the least of us. They care about equity and equality and fairness in our system. Their work is rooted in compassion just like the new consciousness itself.
Listening to Inspiration / Feeling Connected
I felt such warm kinship at this conference. Surely much of what I was responding to, what I felt connected to, were the shared experiences of so many fellow travelers who know what it’s like to invest their precious time and energy, to pour their hearts and souls into what has value and meaning for them regardless of how hard and lonely a path it might be. These are political artists and entrepreneurs giving it their all so know, regular reader, that we are most definitely not alone over here with our new consciousness. Oh look, another segue.
New Consciousness, New Paradigms
United Independents and Conscious Politics have some things in common. United Independents is a backbone (their word) organization — definitely not a party — encouraging and supporting independent political candidacies and campaigns. Conscious politics is a practice focused on solving problems and creating what is desired. Different animals. But people from anywhere on the political spectrum can declare their political independence at will just as people from anywhere on the political spectrum can choose to be conscious politics practitioners. We are all looking at politics through different lenses. We are all transcending what is. We are all organizing above the left-right continuum. We are all cultivating new paradigms. No doubt, we will work interdependently. And soon everyone will see what politics in America looks like when R’s and D’s aren’t the only game in town. Stay tuned.