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How the Laughing Heart provides the tools, methods and context for advancing the six memes in the first tier toward the second Integral tier. (q.v. “Spiral Dynamics”)

It seems that to consciously and actively participate in the evolutionary spiral, we’d want to advance each meme to its highest development and to assist it in transitioning to the next meme. (Meme = cultural matrix that has distinctive values, belief systems, ways of behaving that have evolved out of each other in an attempt to solve evolutionary problems. Each meme partially solves problems from the previous meme while generating new and different problems that in turn give birth to the next cultural matrix (meme). A big part of that process is to mitigate the toxic side/effects of the red meme to the degree it asserts itself harmfully in each of the other memes.

While we need to honor and work with the evolutionary cycle/spiral, it is equally important to realize that we can interface with all memes in any given instant through accessing the still point that exists at the center of all this turning and spiraling.That still point is always accessible… (“God exists at the still point at the center of our turning.”)

The Laughing Heart provides a system for aiding each meme to access that still point, while simultaneously offering a communication technology to support each meme in solving the challenges each meme faces and that all face collectively (war, disease, envionmental degadation, injustice, etc). By participating in this process, each meme can evolve to its zenith and then on to the next meme and eventually to the next tier.

We must necessarily examine what it would take to “assist” each meme to move along more efficiently so as to mitigate the harm that the shadow side of red in each meme is causing and to empower all memes to address and transition through the inevitable breakdown of the last evolutionary stage which as been dominated by and characterized by a commitment to duality.

One of challenges is to learn how to be with and navigate individuality (the generative side of the red meme while establishing ways for the shadow side to dissipate and reduce the resistance (the wear and tear on our culture…in all four quadrants), and restore the system (actually evolve the system to higher degrees of fulfilling the evolutionary imperative…(the Will of Allah, God, Christ, Source or for simplicity’s sake whatever is causing and sustaining existence and causing it to become more and more complex, conscious, integrative and creative (free).(Did I say simplicity?…or well.)

How can we work on the four quadrants simultaneously? …by continually making sure they meet up at the still point where they interconnect.

To realize that any campaign to expedite spiral development, necessarily must take place in all four quadrants, inner, outer, individual, collective, they must continually access and meet at the center…in the place of stillness and transcendence. There is, even to the most superficial observer, quite a large part of existence that has no duality, let alone “four-ality” and which provides the ongoing ground of being for the whole– for the self/collect/inner/outer dynamic to flower and flourish.

We need to work the constants of eternality/infinity and the motionality of existence at the same time (or at least alternatinately)…It’s a dance that we must master…and quickly…if we are to make the inevitable difficult transition with as much grace and as little unnecessary pain and suffering as possible.

Compassion, which should be stoked in every meme (and which comes from that still point) demands it, justice demands it, health and well being demand it, our freedom and our unity demand it.

That being said, the Laughing Heart phenomena provides a blueprint for building the infrastructure of the emerging stage of evolution which, by its very nature and principles resonates with both the fundamental patterns of reality and the urge to ‘progress’ (And I define progress as becoming more and more free from antecedent causation, more at CAUSE, less at effect, more in command… simultaneously advancing wisdom so that we can participate more effectively in evolution and increasing the humility and responsivity to be able to receive and be supported by the fundamental dynamics of universe existence. (boy, that’s a mouthful)

Now, if you’re reading this and can relate to and understand it (and follow these long sentences), you are clearly one of those choosing ones who have heard the call to the Second Tier and are eager to make your (not insignificant) contribution.

The Laughing Heart provides the context for the meeting of the memes in ways that dissipate the tensions within them, between them and can help individuals relax resistance to whatever is the next inevitable condition that evolution is inviting them to engage with, transform and grow from. As these resistances are diminished, it is then possible to “install” a more progressive orientation that can help each meme evolve from where it is.

One of the first questions we must address is what helpful influences, knowledge, activities and practices will all the memes respond to while diffusing the natural resistance of the “dualistic mind” to perpetuate separation as a replacement for the unifying ground of being.

One of the main dynamics of the Laughing Heart is to engage the shadow side of each meme and each quadrant and release the inherent toxicity that it is leaching into the whole system by offering up a mirror in the form of theater, art, comedy and interactive processes.

In other words, “In order to get to where we’re going we have to start from where we are.” But if we don’t actually know where we are, and even more importantly, are out of touch with where we are…and where others are… no matter what meme we’re operating out of, or what combination of memes—which is more often the case—then it is almost impossible to recognize the creative alternative that can advance our status (move individuals and institutions to become more coherent…more aligned with the positive directionality of evolution.) To grow and contribute more effectively. And the art, laughter, ineractive processes enable us to accomplish this with the least amount of resistanced.

Okay, here’s a tool: All meme’s have the capacity for laughter…admittedly some more than others…since to the degree that the ego needs to defend and perpetuate its existence, it can take itself (and its position) very seriously. This, as so obvious, is the stimulus for wars, hyper litigation, argument and just generally not getting along, which in turn leads us to sabotage so many effortst to make laugh more liveable and meanintful.

Our ability to laugh at ourselves, our position, is inversely proportional to the ego investment we have in our perspective and the degree to which our identity is tied up with our need to be right.

This is why the use of laughter, especially, helping people to release the attachment they may have to recalcitrant perspectives is so important to the process and why “The Laughing Heart” is about getting the heart laughing. A laughing heart is an open, flexible and vital heart, as opposed to a hardened heart where the doors of compassion are closed and the capacity to hold someone else’s interests as our own is abrogated [Love your neighbor as yourself].

What else are all memes responsive to:

Everyone wants to be met. (Martin Buber from I and Thou “All real living is meeting.”) In other words ,the need to be seen, understood, validated, respected, honored, valued, accepted and even loved exists in all personalities regardless of their meme. Now, while the green meme in some ways is the most advanced in recognizing this need, it is not always so effective at meeting it because it is influenced by its own bias…the negative side of which is intolerance for previous meme states, over self-importance of its own state of development…the overall tendency to separate itself from the other memes (but of course, it includes the parts of those memes it likes and which makes its life more comfortable, etc.)

So the green meme, like the other memes is divided and by itself is thus rendered ineffectual in constructively engaging with the whole system in order to aid in the advancement of the spiral.

At “The Laughing Heart” and through LH activities, by helping different generations interact successfully with each other through play, art, humor and problem solving, we are setting the stage (establish the foundational grid) for the unitive experience…the Integral Tier. It’s like those thin strips of metal webbing used in building highways that the concrete can adhere to.

The activities, processes and environments of “The Laughing Heart” also build understanding, respect, tolerance, and forgiveness (adaptability) which, because they are transcendent values, need to come into being at every meme level. That is, in effect, The Spirit expressing itself, the Now encapsulating and directing all thought and action. Love manifest. (Then those same problem solving skills developed within the family through LH activities can be used to address the very real problems that exist in the outer two quadrants.

So does the shadow side of the Red meme show up in each of the memes…when it does and how to work with it and assist it to move towards its positive expression and reduce its harmful expression.

Why working with families is an effective strategy:

1. When you work with families you are necessarily forced to interact with and adapt to all memes at once. If you can do this, you are implicitly projecting an integral grid into the mix and are giving everyone involved a taste of Integral dynamics. If the ego can be successfully disarmed, chances are very good that people from each meme will respond positively to the Integral experience and thus will be educated to both its existence and to its tastiness.

2. By training people to lead these activities, the facilitators must necessarily move to the integral level or they can’t do the work. As a result we will have a whole cadre of people developing into the integral second tier level (whatever else is characteristic of this next tier, it is that the adversarial tendencies which lead to war, domination, environmental degradation, etc are mitigated.

3. By making this a business enterprise (in fact a franchise operation), we are making it possible for people make the transition from the old conflict/war/force based economy and way of liberating energy and move toward fusion…the use of magnetism to both nourish individuals and communities simultaneously and provide energy to support life in a way that does not leave toxic conditions in its wake.

Next blog: The four chambers of the Laughing Heart: How we use media, education, community and Spirit to achieve our goals… (Or more accurately how we allow spirit to use us while we employ these tools)

Errol Strider
(415) 459-4512

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